top of page


What is the Purpose of an Autism Assessment?

Child lining up blocks during an autism assessment.

The purpose of an Autism diagnostic evaluation is to discover whether your child has any symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), how many symptoms they have, and how those symptoms may impact your child's ability to fully interact with their environment.


An Autism evaluation at Oklahoma Children's may be appropriate if your child displays the following challenges with social communication and social interactions:

  • Difficulty establishing or maintaining back-and forth conversations and social interactions

  • Challenges starting social interactions (e.g., saying hello to someone new)

  • Problems understanding friendships (e.g., stating that a kid they met at a playground is their best friend)

  • Difficulty sharing emotions with others

  • Atypical eye contact, posture, facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures

  • Prefers to play alone

  • Difficulties in pretend play

  • Challenges adjusting to different social expectations

  • Often takes comments literally and has difficulty understanding sarcasm

Your child may also exhibit restricted or repetitive behaviors such as:

  • Repetitive body movements (e.g., rocking, hand flapping, spinning, running back and forth)

  • Repetitive motion with toys or objects (e.g., spinning wheels, flipping levers)

  • Excessive adherence to routines

  • Ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior (e.g., lining up objects, repeatedly touching objects in a set order)

  • Excessive resistance to change (e.g., same daily schedule, same daily routine)

  • Highly restricted interests that are atypical in intensity or focus

  • Hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unique interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g., staring at lights)

  • Restricted food interests

Child spinning a top during an autism evaluation.
Oklahoma family during their intake for an autism evaluation.

Autism Evaluation Process

Step 1: Clinical Interview

To determine an accurate diagnosis of Autism (and potential treatment recommendations), the evaluation process begins with a Clinical Interview.  The clinical interview is simply a conversation with a Licensed Psychologist at Oklahoma Children's to better understand the presenting problems and relevant history of the problems for your child or adolescent.

The Clinical Interview will cover a wide range of topics related to your child and family, including:

  • Early developmental history and milestones

  • Family history

  • Current symptoms and concerns

  • Educational history

  • Medical history, including illnesses, injuries and hospitalizations

  • Friends and social relationships

  • Hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities 

  • Strengths, talents, unique abilities and coping skills

Autism Evaluation Process

Step 2: Testing Session

The second session is the "Testing Session" where a Licensed Psychologist and assessment staff will conduct a comprehensive Autism examination which includes:​

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule

  • Evidence-Based Intelligence or Cognitive Testing

  • Caregiver-Report Assessments

  • Other Empirically-Supported ASD-Specific Assessments


When evaluating Autism symptoms in your child or adolescent, staff at Oklahoma Children's utilize "gold standard" assessments to make objective ratings of your child’s behavior and determine whether the behavior pattern suggests a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.   

The Testing Sessions are scheduled for 4 hours (a school absence excuse will be provided, if needed). For children/adolescents undergoing an evaluation, a multiple informant approach is used. That is, questionnaires are completed by parents/caregivers (and possibly teachers) to provide additional information about your child and the presenting concerns.​

Child completing an Autism evaluation with her psychologist.
Oklahoma family during the feedback session of their autism assessment.

Autism Evaluation Process

Step 3: Feedback Session

The last session is the "Feedback Session" which is typically scheduled one to two weeks after the Testing Session. Caregivers meet privately with their Licensed Psychologist who will provide you with a detailed report. 


During the feedback session, the psychologist will:

  • Review the results of each assessment

  • Provide a specific diagnosis (or diagnoses)

  • Give specific treatment and intervention recommendations

  • Answer any questions you have about the evaluation results

Related Articles & Resources

Please note that the recommendation of particular websites, resources, or support groups does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of all the opinions or content within them.

Schedule an Autism Evaluation

bottom of page