Autism Intervention Programs

Introduction

The central theme of this presentation is diagnosis and assessment of autism spectrum disorders. Diagnosis is a clinical endeavor, made by experienced clinicians with knowledge of the features of ASDs. The latter are defined in behavioral terms and fall into three major categories: social, communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviors.

Within each of these domains, there are a variety of features; the number, level of severity and combination of symptoms can be different for different individuals with ASD. Diagnosis is a process of classification; it involves identification of a constellation of symptoms or behavioral features that are consistent with a particular disorder. Whereas diagnosis is a means of classification, and captures a child’s presentation in a more global way, an important goal of assessment is to document the child’s functioning in a more refined, detailed, and descriptive way for that individual. Assessment is aimed at not only identifying areas of vulnerability but also those areas that are strengths in the child’s profile. Both are relevant to treatment planning. A comprehensive assessment approach, core measures, and the goals of assessment are outlined in this presentation.

Featured Reading

Featured reading from the Autism Intervention Programs lecture comes from:

"Neuropsychologial characteristics of autism and related conditions." Tsatsanis, K.D. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (eds.), Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons. (2005)

A Comprehensive review of the literature on the neuropsychological characteristics of ASDs, including sensory, attention, memory, executive functioning, and intellectual profiles.

Preview this article in Google Books. Find this book online at the Publisher's website.

Reading List

Below are the assigned readings from the Autism Intervention Programs lecture as well as a short annotation from Prof. Tsatsanis on the reading material and a link to find the reading online or to purchase the book online.

"Neuropsychologial characteristics of autism and related conditions." Tsatsanis, K.D. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (eds.), Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons. (2005)

A Comprehensive review of the literature on the neuropsychological characteristics of ASDs, including sensory, attention, memory, executive functioning, and intellectual profiles.

Preview this article in Google Books. Find this book online at the Publisher's website.

"Heterogeneity in learning style in Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism." Tsatsanis, K.D. Topics in Language Disorders, 24(4), 260-270. (2004)

Provides a description of the different learning profiles in individuals with hig-functioning autism compared to Asperger syndrome and implications for intervention.

View the Abstract at the Topics in Language Disorders journal website.

"Clinical evaluation in autism spectrum disorders: Psychological assessment within a transdisciplinary framework." Klin, A., Saulnier, C.D., Tsatsanis, K.D., & Volkmar, F.R. In F.R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons. (2005)

Detailed description of the assessment issues in autism spectrum disorders, guidelines for assessment and overview of instruments.

Find this book online at the Publisher's website, or preview it in Google Books.

Chapter 3, Getting a Diagnosis, and Chapter 5, An Overview of Educational Programs, from "A Practical Guide to Autism".

Volkmar, Fred; Wiesner, Lisa. "A Practical Guide to Autism". John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey, 2009.

Find this book online at the Publisher's website.

Media and Other Resources

From the Yale Autism Seminar: Dr. Katherine Tsatsanis presents the central theme of this lecture: diagnosis and assessment of autism spectrum disorders.

Faculty and Guest Bios

Bio Profile

Katherine Tsatsanis, DPhil

Education

DPhil, University of Windsor, 1999

Katherine D. Tsatsanis, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Child Study Center. Dr. Tsatsanis obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology in Canada and completed her clinical and research post-doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. Her publications focus on assessment, neuropsychological profiles, and outcomes in ASD, in addition to several articles in the area of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. Primary research interests lie in phenotypic expression, developmental...

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Bio Profile

Fred Volkmar, MD

Irving B. Harris Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology

Education

MA, Stanford University, 1976

MD, Stanford University, 1976

Research Interests

Asperger Syndrome; Autistic Disorder; Child Psychiatry; Neuropsychology; Psychiatry and Psychology

Clinical Interests

Autistic Disorder; Developmental Disabilities

Fred R. Volkmar, M.D. is Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center, School of Medicine. A graduate of the University of Illinois where he received in undergraduate degree in psychology in 1972 and of Stanford University where he received his M.D. and a master’s degree in psychology in 1976 Dr. Volkmar was the primary author of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV autism and pervasive developmental disorders...

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