What is ASD?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects an individual’s ability to communicate (e.g., the ability to use language to express one’s needs) and the ability to engage in social interaction (e.g., the ability to read social cues). Additionally, the individual may have a restricted range of interests or repetitive behavior. Skill deficits associated with ASD will vary greatly from child to child. No two individuals with autism are the same. Each will have their own individual strengths and associated symptoms with autism.

How is ASD Diagnosed?

Autism is diagnosed by observing a child’s behavior. There are several well-known diagnostic tools that are used to diagnose or confirm a diagnosis of autism. For example, The Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS-2). In addition, The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) provides standardized criteria to help diagnose ASD and determine the level of support needed. 

 The broad criteria listed in the DSM-V are summarized below: 

  1. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts.
  2. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. 
  3. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period.
  4. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
  5. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay.

Autism is considered to be a spectrum disorder; some individuals with autism may also have an intellectual disability, while others are only mildly affected. Although ASD, in most cases, is a life-long disability, early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) can result in significant progress, leading to successful, independent participation in learning, social, and community activities. 

If you are concerned about your child’s development, schedule a diagnostic evaluation with our team.

What intervention for autism
is most helpful?

Numerous peer-reviewed studies have shown that specific teaching techniques based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can help individuals with autism (regardless of age) learn specific skills, such as how to communicate, develop relationships, play, care for themselves, learn in school, succeed at work, and participate fully and productively in family and community activities. ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism, including recognition by the U.S. Surgeon General, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Institute of Mental Health, and the New York State Department of Health.

Learn More About Our Services

Please contact Caren Gans, Alpine’s Intake Coordinator, using the following form
or via phone at 201-612-7800 x305

Please contact Caren Gans,
Alpine’s Intake Coordinator,
using the following form
or via phone at
201-612-7800 x305