Autism/evaluation

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Question
I have a grandson, who is going to turn three in February and he has speech delay.  He is improving very much and works with a speech therapist. He is going to be evaluated by a psychologist from school district as soon as he will be three years old.  My daughter is very anxious and she wants to see a competent child psychologist who will make an objective assessment and will help to determine if my grandson needs any additional services.  Would you recommend or suggest how to find a doctor in Los Angeles Northridge area.

Answer
Hello Sofiya,

I'm pleased to hear that your little grandson is improving. That is good news.

Most school psychologists I've worked with are competent. They must have met the requirements to be credentialed. If it's a school district psychologist, then that person would be well aware of the array of services possible in Los Angeles and would be in a good position to advise your daughter. it's in the school's best interests to provide early intervention services if they are warranted; this makes school later easier on the child and all the adults involved.

There may be more involved here. There are children who receive only the services of a speech therapist because language may be their own difficulty. Other children may experience other delays on top of language concerns. The fact that a psychologist has been brought in suggests that there may be other concerns about developmental milestones being met and/or about cognitive development.

Since I don't reside in LA, I'm afraid that I don't know any psychologists there. I would tend to trust the psychologist the school is supplying. You might want to hear those results, then if you disagree, seek another opinion. If you wish to look further, here are a couple places where you could look for child psychologists:

http://www.psych.ucla.edu/center-and-programs/clinic

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php?city=Los+Angeles&coun

The Autism Society of Los Angeles might be able to direct you to psychologists they have experience with. http://autismla.org/About-Us.htm

Best wishes,

Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell
Author of Amazon bestseller School Daze-Autism Goes to School
http://www.amazon.com/School-Daze-Autism-Goes-ebook/dp/B0085HN9HQ

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Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell

Expertise

Sharon can help with parenting and educational concerns. She has worked in teaching, special education, counseling and consulting for over thirty years and gives workshops to educators and parents on working with kids with autism spectrum disorders. Sharon speaks from both the education and parent points of view, having an adult son with Asperger's.

Experience

Sharon has spent decades as a special education consultant with a school district and autism consult for the province's Department of Education, giving workshops and individual consults. Currently she works as regional autism consultant for a health district in between teaching university classes. She is an Amazon bestselling author or a series of novels, each depicting a child who has an autism spectrum disorder. Sharon's Master's thesis looked at the long-term outlook for persons with high functioning autism and Asperger's. Her Doctorate focused on strategies to help those with autism spectrum disorders.

Organizations
Website at http://www.drsharonmitchell.org and sits on Autism Today's Panel of Experts (www.autismtoday.com)

Publications
Author of "Autism Goes to School" - a novel about autism that that became an Amazon bestseller. Get this Amazon bestseller free at http://www.drsharonmitchell.org. In the next book, Autism Runs Away, Ethan is only in grade one and already has been kicked out of one school due to his tantrums and pattern of running away when in a panic. Now in a new school his mom remains glued to her phone, waiting for the call to tell her that they don’t know what to do with a child who has autism. Sara is about to learn if this new school is up to the challenge. (https://www.amazon.ca/Autism-Runs-Away-Book-School-ebook/dp/B01FCYQ7DC). Autism Belongs is the 3rd book. Manny's life has shrank to the confines of their house. His parents are desperate not to rock his world because the aggression has gotten to much worse. Where will this lead? Is there a chance that Manny could actually belong out in the world? You bet! Get a free sample at https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Belongs-School-Daze-Book-ebook/dp/B0184ZQMI6. Book four, Autism Talks and Talks, is about a 12 year old girl who has Asperger's. She's bright, inquisitive, highly verbal, but lacks social skills. Try a free sample at https://www.amazon.ca/Autism-Talks-Book-School-Daze-ebook/dp/B01IIUZH3S Book five, Autism Grows Up features Suzie, a bright, twenty-one year old whose life collapsed after she finished high school. Now, she lives in her mother's basement, spending nights on her computer, afraid to broach the world outside their door. Autism Grows Up is found at https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Grows-School-Daze-Book-ebook/dp/B01JB8QW3U. Prefer a boxed set? Get the first 3 books bundled together at https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Box-Set-School-Books-ebook/dp/B01KBEHJ08. Co-author of Amazon.com bestseller, The Official Autism 101 Manual (http://autism101manual.com/).

Education/Credentials
B.A. in Psychology, B.Ed. in Special Education, M.A. in Educational Leadership PhD. in Psychology Management, specializing in autism.

Awards and Honors
B.R.A.G. Medallion for the novel Autism Goes to School - Book 1 in the School Daze Series. (http://www.bragmedallion.com/medallion-honorees/2013/school-daze-autism-goes-to-school). Like Autism Goes to School, the third book in the series, Autism Belongs, also ranked #1 on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Autism-Belongs-School-Daze-Book-ebook/dp/B0184ZQMI6). Manny is not like other children. He doesn’t talk. He doesn’t leave the house. His parents desperately try to arrange their world so that Manny does not get upset. Because, when he does, well, the aggression was getting worse. At ten, Manny was becoming difficult to handle.

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