You’ve been concerned about Michael’s development for a while.  You took him to the pediatrician, and you hoped that the doctor would brush off your concerns.  But instead of reassuring you that everything is fine, Dr. Williams referred you to a specialist for a comprehensive developmental evaluation.  Here’s how you can best prepare yourself and your child for the process:

  1. Find out what information the specialist needs from you and submit it to the office in advance of your appointment.  Usually, the doctor’s office will provide you with a bunch of forms that need to be completed before your appointment.  They may ask you to send in medical records or other kinds of forms.  The more paperwork that you send in ahead of time, the more prepared the doctor will be and the more smoothly your appointment will run.
  2. Find out what to expect at the appointment.  Ask the doctor’s office staff questions such as: “How long will the appointment take?”, “Is there anything I should bring along?”, “What kinds of tests will the doctor perform?”
  3. Bring along some favorite toys and snacks.  Your child’s developmental evaluation may be lengthy. You may also need a moment or two to speak to the doctor uninterrupted. If you have a special treat or a fun activity available, you can make the experience more pleasant for everyone. 
  4. Write a list of your concerns and questions for the doctor.  You may feel overwhelmed at the evaluation and forget to ask something important.  Write a list on paper or on your phone that you can reference when the doctor asks “Do you have any questions for me?”.
  5. Don’t do it solo.  A developmental evaluation can be an emotionally charged time.  Bring along someone who can be emotionally supportive to you so that you can handle whatever happens.  At the very least, an additional adult can help you better manage your child during a prolonged appointment.


When you are at the developmental evaluation, you can expect the doctor to ask you many questions and to ask your child to perform different tasks.  Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. It is perfectly fine to say “I don’t know” if you don’t understand something. Remember that you can always ask for a break if you or your child feel overwhelmed.

The doctor will let you know at the end of the developmental evaluation if they have enough information. They will schedule a follow-up appointment with you for additional testing or assessments if they need to obtain additional information. Doctors will usually diagnose your child at the evaluation appointment with a developmental disorder when they have enough information.


If your child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or a similar developmental disorder, there are many ways that you can help them achieve their potential.  Enrolling your child with a trusted ABA therapy agency such as Interact Therapy Services can help them maximize the strengths and minimize the challenges that are part of an ASD life.  ABA therapy is the gold-standard in helping individuals with ASD and their families live their best lives.

At Interact Therapy Services, we offer in-home ABA therapy services to children and their families.  Our caring and committed professionals will work together with you to teach your child the skills that they need to progress and succeed.

To find out more about Interact Therapy Services, call 732.806.0804 for a free no-obligation phone consultation.  We look forward to helping you and your child!