Supporting Parents Through the Assessment Process | Organization for Autism Research

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AParentsGuideToAssessmentDuring the normal course of development, children are expected to reach certain milestones by a specific age, such as uttering their first words, taking their first steps, or engaging in joint pretend play. For children with autism, this developmental trajectory may be delayed or even regress over time.

Parents who suspect their children of having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or some other developmental delay may want their children to be screened and tested for a developmental disorder. The assessment process can be daunting as it is based on a series of tests that result in reports using terminology many parents may be quite unfamiliar with.

To support the assessment process, OAR published “Life Journey Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Assessment” in 2008. Developed in collaboration with SAARC and with financial support from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, the guide:

  • Removes some of the mystery and anxiety surrounding the assessment process
  • Provides a practical understanding of the assessment process
  • Provides an overview of the purposes and types of assessments used
  • Familiarizes parents with the technical language and vocabulary of assessment
  • Equips parents with the knowledge they need to be active participants in the assessment process

Autism professionals, service providers, and parents alike are encouraged to use and share this resource with other parents who undergo the assessment process for their child. The 54-page guide is available for free online in PDF, ebook, and paperback format. OAR supports the distribution of this guide at clinics, schools, and other locations. For bulk order requests, please contact us at


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