Last Tuesday I missed a very interesting and touching class. It was focused on the red flag characteristics of communication, behavior and/or social interaction in children during early years. Some of them could be: deficit/delay in language, lack in body language, self-stimulatoryand repetitive behavior, lack of eye contact, and rigid adherence of routine.
     It was clarified by the instructor that this symptoms or signs by itself are not
a base for ASD diagnosis, having them together or most of them, will guide to
an evaluation. The evaluation is done in collaboration with Psychologist, Early Intervention Specialist, Pediatrician, Audiologist and Speech pathologist. Each professional should have training and experience or be familiar with ASD in order to consider the assessments reliable.

     There were 2 videos:

-Video #1
"Diagnosing Autism", explained that the evaluation can be done with a
questionnaire, checklist or screening. This must be implemented by Psychologist,
Neurologist or Psychiatrist. The initial information about red flag signs is
given by caretakers, parents or school teachers.

- Video #2
"Spinning and Flapping, Flapping and Spinning" This video gave us the
opportunity to observe typical behaviors to recognize during early years. We
were able to see for example, how the child was moving his eyes without making
eye contact; he was paying more attention to the dishwasher than the toys, and
did not show any interest on sharing information with the adult.

     After this visual presentation, the instructor delivered information about considerations in instrument selection according to the child record, medical evaluation, parents' observation, communication, and behavior evaluations.

     Then she listed different tools used by trained and no trained professionals in order to diagnose ASD. These tools are: ADI-R , this instrument is used along with ADOS and is the most reliable standardized test to determine early development characteristics associated to ASD, however, it is less accurate in differentiating within
spectrum than from other developmental disabilities, and most be done by a
trained professional. Another one is CARS; this instrument is observational and does not need a trained professional. It observes child's interaction in structured and non-structured environment. It was also mentioned, ASDS-Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale, GADS-Gillian Asperger Disorder, and ADOS-G-Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic, which accuracy depends on the appropriate use of the modules.