Autism, one of several subcategories of pervasive developmental disorders, requires significant intervention throughout the person’s life. The assessment of autism often involves clinical observation, standardized testing, and use of behavior rating scales. Strong assessment skills and psychometrically valid assessment tools may help guide specific treatment recommendations and positively contribute to the treatment of students with autism by school psychologists. Treatment strategies are based upon accurate assessment, thus an examination of treatment recommendations and their consistency with standardized practice is critical. Oftentimes, the interventions are varied, and regrettably, are based on the frequently limited information that is available to the parents and the clinician. Public knowledge is critical to the provision of appropriate services for the autistic client. A survey was conducted on 1,000 school psychologists who are members of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) to determine the most well known evaluative tools and therapies in the field.
Dr. Robert Meagher has worked as an adjunct professor at New York University as well as a therapist at Saint Vincent's Mental Health Center. He is currently employed by the New York City Department of Education as a School Psychologist.