April 1, 2021 | Blog, Gamechanger
Program puts children on the right track to receive early intervention services
Sara* is a proud mother of three brave children who are all Deaf. Her four-year-old son recently participated in Els for Autism’s Collaborative Autism Diagnosis and Intervention program (CADI).
“As a parent, the last thing you would like to hear is that your child has a disability, or in my case, an additional disability.” Sara said. “However, the support that I received from the Els [for Autism] team made me confident that I can seek appropriate services for my son to access his education and have a better quality of life.”
The sooner a child receives a diagnosis, the sooner they can begin evidence-based early intervention to mitigate the long-term effects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The level of service provided by the CADI program puts children on the right track to receive early intervention services as soon as possible while offering families valuable support and education.
Thanks to a generous donor, gifts made by September 1, 2021 towards evaluation services will be doubled, up to $70,000. With this funding, Els for Autism will be equipped to complete even more comprehensive diagnostic evaluations in 2021 via the CADI program.
The evaluation process consists of standardized and informal assessments, including gold standard ASD diagnostic tools. A highly qualified team of professionals are able to deliver the CADI program in person, or through telehealth, which not only increases accessibility to the evaluation but to insurance funding for services.
“With my son’s deafness, the Els team understood that he needed an American Sign Language Interpreter with knowledge of the Deaf culture. An interpreter was with my son during his evaluation process for two days! With COVID-19 being our reality, it did not make anything easy; however, the Els for Autism team did the complete evaluation through Zoom platform,” Sara said.
The CADI clinical team’s cumulative experience validates their ability to make differential diagnoses or determine a diagnosis of ASD. Additionally, a Clinical Care Coordinator offers support to families from their initial contact with the Foundation through evaluations and follow-up.
“With the results, I am now able to advocate and seek additional services for my son,” Sara said.
*Names have been changed to respect the family’s privacy.