Autism Initiative Services
- ASD Screening: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends ASD screening at 18 and 24 months of age. Once a referral for Early Intervention is received, children may receive an ASD screening using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised Follow-up (MCHAT-R/F), when the screening is not previously completed by a pediatrician or family physician and/or when there is a parental concern. The Coordinator will score the tool, speak with families about the results and make the appropriate next step.
- Diagnostic Evaluation: The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) is considered a “gold standard” tool for the identification of autism in children and youth. Children, screened at 18 and 24 months, with a score that indicates moderate to high risk are referred to Early Intervention. Once enrolled in Early Intervention, children are referred for further evaluation to confirm or deny an ASD diagnosis. Currently, psychologists are contracted to conduct diagnostic evaluations with children before age 3.
- Behavioral Intervention: Adaptive behavior services that support thirty years of research demonstrate the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior of children with autism. Enrolled BCW children with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD are evaluated to assess the frequency and duration of a behavioral intervention to improve their outcomes. Currently, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are contracted to develop and implement behavioral plans.
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- Family Training: Parent Academy Training offers caregivers an individualized training program that addresses persistent challenging behavior of children 3 - 5 years of age. Parents of young children with intellectual/developmental disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders learn helpful skills and effective positive behavior tools.
- Transition Planning: The Individualized Transition Assessment Plan (ITAP) Pilot Project Model, provides guidance to youth, families, administrators, and educators within Georgia’s Lead Education Agencies. The ITAP Pilot Project Model implements transition assessments with a cohort of individuals with ASD and their families to (a) identify key transition goals, (b) identify existing barriers and challenges regarding the development of transition skills, (c) incorporate meaningful goals and activities into student Individual Education Plan (IEP) Transition Plans, and (d) connect students and their families to key statewide and national resources to support transition.
- ADOS-2 Training: Georgia Autism Assessment Collaborative (GAAC) is a network of community psychologists trained to administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), the “gold standard” diagnostic evaluation tool. GAAC Psychologists have been trained, with at least one (1) or more in each Public Health District.
- GAAC Specialty Clinics include five (5) of the fifty-four (54) licensed psychologists that undergo additional reliability and fidelity testing to ensure quality standards are met when administering the ADOS-2. GAAC Specialty Clinics are trained to collect observational data and confirm a diagnostic outcome using remote technology.
- BCBA Training & Supervision: A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Training and Supervision Program to train and supervise providers, annually, that evaluate children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and provide intervention services based on naturalistic developmental methods.
Page last updated 06/23/2022