Developing Diagnostic Skills at VIA

August 4, 2019 | Programs

Wait lists for autism diagnosis are long nationwide, and delays while waiting for diagnosis are a significant barrier to families getting access to services they need. VIA, and our partners at the University of Virginia, are working to change that.

Recently, we worked with a team of researchers from the Curry School of Education and the STAR program (Supporting Transformative Autism Research) to expand their knowledge of autism assessments.

The team at STAR recruited VIA students to participate in training research staff, graduate, and post-doctoral trainees in giving one of the “Gold-Standard” autism diagnostic tools, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). The ADOS is a is a play-based assessment that involves children playing games and participating in activities with an examiner.

Dr. Rose Nevill, (director of the STAR Autism Research Core) is shown here modeling testing and scoring of the ADOS with Sam, an eleven-year-old student at the James C. Hormel School. Dr. Nevill noted: “Children can be reliably diagnosed with autism as early as 18 months of age – yet nationally, children are not being diagnosed until age 4 years on average. Early diagnosis is essential for streamlining children’s access to evidence-based early intervention services, which have been shown to provide the best opportunity for optimal developmental outcomes.”

For information about diagnosis and cognitive assessment at VIA, visit our Diagnosis and Assessment page.

To find out more about research opportunities at VIA, please contact Dr. Einar Ingvarsson (eingvarsson [at] viacenters [dot] org) or to find out more information regarding VIA’s James C. Hormel School, please email abosford [at] viacenters [dot] org. Feel free to reach us by phone at 434-923-8252.