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Children's Specialized Hospital Autism Program
Frequently Asked Questions
The Family Advisory Council at Children’s Specialized Hospital is dedicated to
collaborating with Hospital leadership and staff -- empowering families to
provide valuable input toward improving organizational policies and practices.
The Council has created the information below to assist in
preparing for your visit.
What can I expect during my visit?
Q: Why are we having an Autism Team evaluation?
A: Your pediatrician or another healthcare, educational or early intervention professional may
have referred your child for an Autism Team Evaluation because there is concern about your
child’s language, social skills, and/or behavior.
Q: Who are the members of the Autism Team that will be present during the
A: The Team consists of a Neuro-Developmental Pediatrician, Speech Language
Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist and a Child Psychologist. They will work closely with
you and your family to understand your concerns for your child, and partner with you to
develop goals and a treatment plan to accomplish those goals.
Neuro-Developmental Pediatrician - reviews child’s developmental and medical history,
abilities, habits and challenges, with a focus on learning, development and behavior.
Speech Language Pathologist - evaluates your child’s ability to talk, understand common
words, follow directions and understand how they communicate/interact with others.
Occupational Therapist – gathers information about your child’s ability to perform self
care, fine and gross motor skills and the impact of sensory processing on these areas.
Psychologist - evaluates your child’s cognitive skills and signs and symptoms of autism.
The Psychologist will also gather information from you about your child’s past and current
communication, social skills, behavior and interests.
Q: Will a medical doctor be involved in the evaluation?
A: A nurse will record your child’s height, weight and blood pressure. The Neuro-
Developmental Pediatrician is a medical doctor, and has the ability to determine if underlying
medical issues are a concern.
Q: What will happen before the team evaluation?
A: Before the team evaluation, there are two separate visits. The first visit will be with the
parents or guardians and the Child Psychologist. Your child does not come to this first visit.
At this visit, the Child Psychologist will gather information about past and current
communication, socialization and behavior using the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R).
The second visit will be with your child and the Child Psychologist to conduct cognitive
testing. The first visit is typically 1 ½- 2 hours. The cognitive testing usually takes one hour
for young children and can take up to two hours for older children.
Q: What will happen during the team evaluation?
A: The Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician will meet with you and your child, the Child
Psychologist will conduct a structured play assessment (the Autism Diagnostic Observation
Schedule- ADOS) often with the assistance of the Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician while
the Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist observe. Then the Speech Pathologist
and Occupational Therapist will evaluate your child together. All of these evaluations provide
information for the team to accurately assess and diagnose autism spectrum disorders
across ages, developmental levels and language skills. The team will also discuss other
diagnoses that your child may exhibit.
Q: What is the family’s role during the evaluation?
A: Family involvement during the evaluation is very important and varies for each individual
child. Your report of your child’s history, typical behaviors and skills helps guide the team.
During the team evaluation visit, the team will want to observe your child’s usual behaviors.
Depending on your child’s age and response to testing, you may be asked to sit with your
child during the evaluation or to observe your child’s interaction with the members of the
Autism team from behind a one-way mirror.
Q: How long will the team evaluation take?
A: The team visit can run as long as four hours including a summary meeting with the team.
Q: Will there be time to discuss the findings? If therapy is recommended, how long will
my child need services?
A: At the end of the team visit, the team members will meet with you to review their findings
and recommendations. Together, you will discuss the strategies for home, how long your
child will need therapy, the plan of care and therapy goals.
Q: When will I get a report?
A: You will be given a team summary report at the end of the team
What can I do to prepare for my visit? 
Q: What do I need to bring?
A: Please bring:
-A current photo ID (license)
-Insurance card
-Referral if needed
-A current list of your child’s medications
-School reports
-Prior evaluations
-Names/addresses of individuals you might want the report sent to
-Equipment your child may use (glasses, hearing aid, etc)
-Guardian papers (if joint, or sole custody)*
 Many parents also find it helpful to bring a list of questions to ask the team
Q: What should my child wear?
Please have your child wear loose comfortable clothing and a pair of socks.
Q: Can I bring my other children?
A: If possible, it is recommended that siblings stay home so that families can give their
undivided attention during the evaluation. Understanding that child care is sometimes
difficult, when bringing siblings, it may be helpful to bring another adult and activities to
occupy the siblings during the evaluation.

Will insurance pay for my visits?
Q: What if therapy is recommended, will my insurance pay for it?
A: Medical coverage will vary, but many health insurance plans cover our services. Please
contact your insurance company to verify if your plan offers a benefit for services and if the
diagnosis you were given is covered under your policy. If therapy is recommended, our
Patient Access Service will obtain authorization for treatment. Once the treatment is
approved, you will receive a phone call from our scheduling dept to schedule an appointment
for treatment. There is a wait for afterschool therapy.