The autism spectrum disorder assessment clinics (CETSA) are intended for children under age 12 in whom the possibility of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been raised. Since the assessment focuses on all dimensions of the child’s development, it requires the simultaneous involvement of different professionals in related disciplines and with complementary expertise, who have an expert knowledge and understanding of developmental issues, as well as in-depth clinical practice experience.
These professionals include an occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, doctor, psychologist, psychoeducator and social worker.
- Establishes the diagnosis or differential diagnosis using a multidisciplinary approach.
- Allows family members to better understand the child’s behaviour, and to adjust their approaches accordingly and as early as possible.
- Allows families to be referred to the appropriate services and identifies opportunities for intervention.
The assessment, which can involve the parents and various other partners, is based on the child’s history and on the observation and assessment of their development and behaviour; it takes the form of structured and semi-structured tasks and free-play activities.
Depending on the number of possible diagnoses raised and on the impact of these difficulties on the child’s level of functioning, anywhere from two to three—or more—professionals will be involved.
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