For Professionals

A Conversation with Colleagues

Through the years I have helped thousands of evaluation teams and families through the process of evaluating and diagnosing children on the autism spectrum. My experience led me to develop a conversation-based assessment and a visual framework, which help guide evaluators and parents through the evaluation and diagnosis process. This website, my book and my test are resources that will help you work more effectively with children on the autism spectrum and their parents.

Why use the conversational approach to evaluating children on the autism spectrum?

Autism is a word that is difficult for parents to hear in relation to their child. When parents receive a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, they search beyond the label to understand what the diagnosis means for their child.

Traditionally, parents are provided with a diagnosis filled with technical language that results from standardized measures and formal diagnostic criteria. Parents struggle to understand how the label fits their individual child. While standardized testing and the use of formal diagnostic criteria are critical parts of an autism evaluation, relying solely on those procedures results in critical gaps in our understanding of the child.

The conversational approach to autism evaluations fills these gaps by teaching evaluators to work with children and their parents in a dynamic and interactive way. Through conversations, evaluators encourage parents to describe their child in individual and nuanced ways. Through conversations, evaluators gain a rich sample of each child’s style of engaging with the world. This in turn leads to more accurate and descriptive diagnostic decisions.

Please note that in her office practice Dr. Monteiro provides diagnostic autism evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults. She also provides therapy services for individuals and families, specializing in treating families who have a member on the autism spectrum. To schedule an appointment send an email request through the Contact page on this website.

Next page: The Book: Autism Conversations