Our ADEP Program (which stands for Autism Diagnosis Education Project) has been in full swing since July of 2022 under the direction of Sylvia Call, our Autism Services Coordinator. This program is overseen by OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence), and it provides Early Intervention programs the possibility of conducting the ADOS evaluation (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) for young children showing signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The diagnostic approach employed in the ADEP program incorporates two formal standardized evaluations (the Bayley 4 to assess developmental levels across the areas of Cognition, Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Receptive Speech, Expressive Speech, Adaptive Skills, and Social/Emotional Skills) and the ADOS to evaluate for indicators of Autism Spectrum disorder in the areas of Language and Communication, Reciprocal Social Interaction, Play, Stereotyped Behaviors and Restricted Interests, and Other Behaviors). An autism screening tool (We use the 16×16 Autism Screening Tool for children 16 months and younger, and the M-CHAT Autism Screener for all children over 16 months), the DSM-V Parent Interview, and A full, in-person Developmental Assessment for a minimum of 45 minutes with Dr. Fitton are also a part of this evaluation process.
If a child meets the criteria for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, they are able to receive that medical diagnosis in a meeting with Dr. Fitton at her ABC Pediatrics office. Families are provided with a full diagnostic report that includes information from all sources considered in the multidisciplinary report, and they are also given resources and therapeutic tools to help provide support for the family and their child. The family is able to stay connected with the Autism Services Coordinator, Sylvia Call, and she can help answer questions they may have, provide support or insight, offer training opportunities, and help the family navigate the evaluation process as their child enters preschool.
The feedback from families who have gone through this ADEP program has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are thrilled to bring thorough and timely autism evaluations to our community.