Developmental Assessment

Families entering the assessment process at Nationwide Children’s Hospital may find the process lengthy, but there is a reason for each appointment in the assessment process. Below you will find the name and description of each appointment in the assessment process.  

1. Diagnostic Interview

The Diagnostic Interview (DI), is an hour long appointment designed to assess current developmental concerns and to move families toward the next best phase of assessment and/or treatment.  This is an information gathering session.

2. Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Assessment

An Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Assessment (IDA) is conducted by a clinical team including a psychologist, a developmental behavioral pediatrician and/or neurologist, a speech and language pathologist, and a psychometrician. The IDA process consists of 3 appointments total.  The IDA assessment can last up to 3 hours and may require families to complete needed questionnaires and assessment tools.

During the first appointment the Network's Nationwide Children's staff will:

  • Collect further background information and behavioral observation

  • Conduct a brief physical examination

  • Assess your child’s motor abilities related to speech, his/her understanding of other’s speech, and his/her expression of ideas

  • Complete an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), a standardized play based assessment used to evaluate Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Explain any further questionnaires we would like for you to complete about your child’s behavior

3. Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Assessment Follow Up

Following the IDA, some families will be scheduled for an Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Assessment Follow Up (IDA/FU).  The IDA/FU appointment is for the necessary psychological testing (e.g., intellectual functioning, academic achievement, adaptive skills) and can range from 2 ½ - 3 hours depending on the age of your child. Your child will be given a couple breaks throughout the appointment and is expected to complete a variety of tasks.

If you are given questionnaires to complete about your child’s behavior, please be sure to complete them and bring them to the appointment.

4. Feedback

The next step in the assessment process will be a final discussion with the Psychologist. This session, referred to as a Feedback, is booked for one hour and allows you the opportunity to ask questions and review recommendations from the Psychologist. During this session, you will discuss testing results, impressions and diagnosis.  The feedback appointment will also offer recommendations for next steps in medical care, subspecialty care and treatment, such as speech. 

5. Autism Care Network

After completing the Feedback session, families will have a brief 15 minute meeting with the Autism Care Network team.  During this meeting, families will learn about the Network's initiatives and resources, locally and nationally.  The Network's team will also help to coordinate care coordination appointments, the next step in linking your child to treatment. 

6. Care Coordination

The final step in the assessment process includes working with our Care Coordination team.  Care Coordination sessions are one hour and can be booked multiple times depending on your insurance.

The Care Coordination team will review recommendations and reports with you as needed.  Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to discuss how to put this list of recommendations into action. The care coordination at Nationwide Children's is here to help you:

  • Make connections with needed services such as speech and occupational therapy

  • Identify funding issues and solution

  • Identify and manage family and sibling issues

  • Find available resources to ensure that you child has options and opportunities for success.