Screening, Identification and Assessment Subcommittee
Identification Team Competencies. This is part of an ongoing project seeking to ensure that all individuals who are evaluated for a diagnosis or special education eligibility of ASD are evaluated by a team of professionals who have adequate professional training and autism-specific training. This project is designed to develop competency standards for professionals and teams engaged in the identification of ASD.
Differential Identification Training Modules. This is also an ongoing project that is creating online training modules on how to distinguish ASD from other conditions with overlapping characteristics.
Why is this needed? Many professionals have the legal authority to identify individuals as having ASD but have not received adequate training in some areas that are crucial for a reliable identification. Nonetheless, they either choose or are required by their employers to conduct evaluations for ASD.
Whole Picture Identification and Service Planning. The focus of this project is to create a single coordinated, cross-system identification process. (Cross-system here means across physical health, behavior health, education, and social services.) The process would evaluate for ASD and other co-occuring conditions, comprehensively assess service and support needs, and make the individual and their family eligible for all the public and private services and supports they are eligible for. The process would also assign responsibility to ensure that an individual or organization assumes responsibility for all identified service or support needs.
Why is this needed? One of the biggest barriers facing the newly diagnosed and their families is undergoing multiple separate evaluations and applications to obtain services at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. This process is also inefficient and financially wasteful for service providers. Finally, it is all too easy for service needs to fall through the cracks when service providers in one organization assume that someone else is responsible for meeting an individual’s needs.
Suggested members: The Screening, Identification, and Assessment Committee already has members, but could benefit from more. It especially needs speech-language pathologists practicing in health care and education, family members, and autistic adults. Other professionals currently engaged in autism evaluations are also encouraged to participate.