Autism Evaluations

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a wide range of disorders that present difficulties in socialization. If a child could potentially have autism, an official diagnosis can be difficult and confusing for children and their caregivers. However, at Primary Care Partners of South Bend, we want to make the process easier for everyone involved. Dr. Mary Hope Griffin is certified in autism diagnosis in children up to 42 months. While Dr. Griffin is specially trained in autism evaluation and diagnosis, our entire staff can provide primary care to children with autism. 

Symptoms of Autism

Symptom severity and range can vary widely from child to child. Therefore, ASD could be noticeable during infancy but high-functioning children may not be diagnosed until later in life. These signs are commonly seen in children with autism.

Infancy Symptoms

  • Lack of eye-contact
  • Over-focusing on a particular item
  • Not responding to play stimuli

Toddler Symptoms

  • Showing little interest in social interaction
  • Withdrawing from or avoiding communication
  • Poor eye contact
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Delay in speaking

Early Childhood Symptoms

  • Difficulty learning
  • Inappropriate social interaction
  • Misunderstanding social cues
  • Not engaging in play with peers
  • Repetitive or compulsive movements or behaviors
  • Intense focus on particular objects
  • Abnormal posture or facial responses
  • Developing strange words or phrases
  • Monotonous speech
  • Showing little empathy

If you notice these symptoms in your child, it is beneficial to get them tested. At Primary Care Partners of South Bend, we want to give parents the answers they need while giving children the respect they deserve. If you see these symptoms in your child, request an appointment online, or call us at (574) 251-1200.

How Do We Diagnose ASD?

To diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dr. Griffin utilizes the STAT Exam. STAT stands for “Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and young children“. The STAT exam was developed as an interactive test to identify autism in children from 24-48 months old. Designed to be low-stress, your child will freely play with 12 different items. Then, Dr. Griffin will assess your child’s behavior and communication while at play with these items.

Key behaviors Dr. Griffin examines are communication, request, imitation, and attention. The items chosen are the most effective in differentiating autistic behavior from other disorders in young children. Dr. Griffin is certified in ASD diagnosis in children under 48 months. We are here to help your child get an official diagnosis so you can begin a treatment plan earlier in life.

The STAT exam is calm and enjoyable for the child and less time-consuming and confusing for caregivers than traditional evaluations. Our goal at Primary Care Partners of South Bend is to diagnose children younger and therefore create a treatment plan earlier. If you are seeking an autism evaluation for your child, request an appointment or give us a call at (574) 251-1200.

Questions and Concerns

For any further questions on symptoms, testing, and treatment, please give us a call or schedule an appointment. Additionally, we encourage you to voice any and all concerns during your child’s well-child visit. We are here to help you learn and understand, and treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with respect and integrity.

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