Every parent and educator wants the best opportunities for the children in their care. That means the best learning and growth opportunities. For children who are on the autism, there are extra strategies needed to help them succeed in the world. Getting that help to the children who need it begins with early screening, but starting the conversation about assessments isn’t always easy.
Understanding Autism Ratings
Sometimes the hesitation stems from the misunderstanding of autism assessment in children. Doctors have tools like the (CARS™2) Childhood Autism Rating Scale™ that evaluates different aspects of child development. The ratings on the scale are quantifiable, so you can trust that a diagnosis is accurate and objective.
By learning more about clinical assessment tools, parents can grow their understanding of what autism will mean for their child. They can also create strategies to support their child at home, while working with teachers to get support for their children at school.
Overcoming Bias in Assessing Autism
Aside from a lack of understanding, certain biases can get in the way of initiating the process of getting an autism assessment for a child. The roadblock may be cultural. Some people may have beliefs that resist the idea of accepting and treating a developmental difference.
It is critical to recognize and correct bias from educators. Researchers have noted that race plays a part in how often the signs of autism spectrum disorder are recognized. More white children are assessed for autism and given help, while more Black children and other minorities receive strategies focused on preventing misconduct, which can drastically affect outcomes.
WPS can provide tools like the (SRS™-2) Social Responsiveness Scale for educators and caregivers to assess all students equally and get the best chance to succeed.
When it comes to a child that may be on the autism spectrum, early action is crucial. Take feedback about a child’s behavior and development from different sources, such as teachers, babysitters, parents and other children. The sooner you establish a pattern that indicates the potential for an autism spectrum disorder, the sooner you can take action.
This is why screening and assessments are so important in early education environments. Seeing how children process new information and interact with their peers gives an indication on what the child may need in the future. Assessments for younger children put everyone in the best position to move forward the right way.
Schools can start doing more to help teachers and families assess students who are on the autism spectrum by increasing screening. Making assessments a more standard part of the early education environment will help normalize diagnoses, opening up more resources for more people.
To find out how school and staff can do more to evaluate children on the autism spectrum and create learning plans that work for them, check out WPS and their tools to get started.
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