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Early Intervention

Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about intervention to help you plan your next steps.

What to do if I think my child might have autism? 

You'll want to get an appointment to have the ADOSS test conducted on your child for a formal diagnosis.


An ADOSS test (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition) is a clinical assessment tool used for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals. It is a structured observational assessment that is often administered by trained professionals, such as psychologists or developmental pediatricians, to help determine if an individual meets the criteria for an autism spectrum disorder.


The ADOSS is specifically designed to evaluate social and communication behaviors associated with autism. During the assessment, the examiner observes and interacts with the individual, often engaging in various standardized activities and tasks. These interactions are designed to assess the individual's social communication skills, repetitive behaviors, and other characteristics typically associated with autism.

The ADOSS is considered a valuable tool in the diagnostic process because it allows for the systematic and standardized evaluation of behaviors associated with autism. It helps clinicians gather important information to make a diagnosis and tailor interventions and support strategies accordingly.

Clinical and school psychologists, psychiatrists, developmental pediatrician, occupational therapists (OT), speech-language pathologist (SLP), Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Neuro or Developmental pediatricians, or those with a master’s degree in psychology, school counseling, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, social work, education, special education, or related field are certified to administer the ADOSS.

The criteria for diagnosis of autism has changed over time, with the most recent criteria being used by doctors and clinicians is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5), which provides a more specific criteria for diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Where to Get Diagnosed:

  • CHOP: Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in University City, PA

  • Children’s Specialized Hospital: RWJ Barnabas

  • Development Pediatrics of Central Jersey

  • Hackensack Medical Group: Child Evaluation Center

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My child was diagnosed with Autism. What do I do now? 

Once your child has been diagnosed with autism you'll want to determine if they qualify for Early Intervention (EI).

Early intervention is used for infants and toddlers three years or younger who have a possible developmental delay (DD) or a disability. With consent from the parent(s), the child gets evaluated, and at that time, a determination is made for eligibility. Areas that can affect a child’s development can be cognitive development, physical development, including vision and hearing, communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development.

Early intervention for autism refers to a comprehensive set of therapeutic and support services designed to address the developmental needs of young children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The primary goal of early intervention is to provide targeted interventions and support during the crucial early years of a child's development, typically from birth to age three, to improve developmental outcomes and enhance their overall quality of life.

Early intervention has been shown to have a positive impact on the developmental outcomes of children with autism. Research indicates that starting interventions as early as possible can lead to significant improvements in communication, social skills, and overall functioning. The earlier the intervention begins, the more significant the potential benefits for the child.

To access early intervention services, parents or caregivers can contact their state's early intervention program. The program will then assess the child's development to determine if the
child is eligible for services If the child is found eligible, the early intervention program will
work with the family to identify the appropriate services, and then provide or arrange for those
services to be delivered. These services may be provided in the child's home, in a community
setting, or in a specialized early intervention program. It's important to note that the process of
getting early intervention will vary depending on state laws and programs, so it's best to reach
out to your state's early intervention program to get detailed information on how to proceed


Early Intervention Resources:

New Jersey Early Intervention referral line by counties 888-653-4463

  1. Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union, Warren

  2. Passaic, Burgen, Hudson

  3. Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem

  4. Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset

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What services are available to children with Autism? 

Once you have your child tested for autism, the doctor assigned to your child’s case will provide you with a script (Rx) and approve the ADOSS findings, and at that point, you will be referred out for services. Early intervention programs are tailored to the specific needs of each child. These programs are based on a comprehensive assessment of the child's strengths and challenges.


The individualized treatment plan may include a combination of therapies and interventions. An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be developed to outline the specific services and therapies your child will receive. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be created to address your child's educational needs.

The payment method for any services will be determined by your chosen provider. Once you have decided upon a company for providing the service, they will let you know if they are in-network, or out-of-network with your designated insurance company.

Other continuing optional therapies and services include, but are not limited to:

  1. Behavioral and Developmental Therapies: Behavioral therapies, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), play a significant role in early intervention. These therapies focus on improving social and communication skills, reducing challenging behaviors, and promoting adaptive behaviors.

  2. Speech and Language Therapy: Many children with autism experience communication challenges. Speech and language therapy can help improve expressive and receptive language skills, as well as support nonverbal communication methods like sign language or communication devices.

  3. Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy can help children with autism develop fine motor skills, improve sensory processing, and enhance their ability to engage in everyday activities and routines.

  4. Physical Therapy: Some children with autism may benefit from physical therapy to address motor coordination and gross motor skills.

  5. Social Skills Training: Teaching social skills is a fundamental aspect of early intervention. Children with autism often struggle with social interactions, and social skills training helps them learn to navigate social situations effectively.

  6. Parent and Caregiver Training: Early intervention programs often involve parents and caregivers. They are provided with strategies and techniques to support their child's development and manage challenging behaviors at home.

  7. Structured and Consistent Environment: Creating a structured and consistent environment is important for children with autism. Predictable routines and visual supports can help reduce anxiety and support learning.

  8. Collaboration: Early intervention services often involve collaboration among a team of professionals, including special educators, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and behavioral therapists. This interdisciplinary approach ensures that all aspects of the child's development are addressed.

  9. Monitoring Progress: Regular assessments and progress monitoring are integral to early intervention. Adjustments to the intervention plan can be made based on the child's progress and evolving needs.


Products Approved for Austim Children

Autistic children have special needs that should be supported by products made them in mind. We've gathered our favorite products and most recommended resources from around the web for your convenience.



As a non-profit, we're always looking for financial partners and supporters who share our mission to educate and improve the lives of families with autistic children. 


Here we have our list of reputable medical sources that provide a basis for the findings of what we understand about autism today. We suggest that you look at the valuable research to expand your understanding of Autism.

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