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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Charting Autism

Q. I need to find some charts to monitor the behavior, side effects, and positive outcomes of my child's present intervention for autism. Any ideas?

A. My first recommendation is to speak with your child's treating physician or mental health professional to see what he or she would recommend. I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary to use formal measures of improvement, as opposed to general observations of your child's ability to socialize appropriately, use language socially, avoid disruptive behaviors, etc. In fact, I might suggest that it is really the responsibility of your child's treating clinicians to conduct such formal assessments of your child's progress. However, there are some scales that might be useful for either you or your child's clinician to use; e.g., the Conners Parent Teacher Questionnaire, the Children's Psychiatric Rating Scale, the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) scale, and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. You may also want to check out the Autism Society website for further information (www.autism-society.org).

December 2001

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