Home  Riverside Developmental Disabilities Home Page   Email Riverside Developmental Disabilities
Riverside Developmental Disabilities Facebook Page  
Riverside Developmental Disabilities Miami County Ohio


Autism is a buzzword in many schools and communities across the nation, leaving some parents with the question, “Does my child have autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?” It helps to know what to look for and then how to act if you do suspect. As Miami County's local resource, Riverside Developmental Disabilities offer a process to help you answer those very questions through a process called the Autism Diagnosis Education Project (ADEP).

Are local teams really the best option?

Often parents think they have to go to a large regional health center or a children’s hospital in order to receive accurate care and a thoughtful diagnosis. In reality, you have that very option in your own backyard.  Your local assessment team can do everything a larger regional health center or children’s hospital can do, often in less time and with less waiting between appointments. These teams, including their medical partner, receive ongoing training and frequently see children suspected to have ASD, so they know what to look for and know how best to respond. Additional advantages to this local process include:

· Less wait time for appointments, leading to an earlier diagnosis
· Faster access to early intervention
· Comprehensive and standardized tests, ensuring accuracy and consistency
· No “wait and see” approach
· Multi-disciplinary team

What are some warning signs I should be aware of if my child is less than 30 months?

·  Little to no eye contact
·  Rarely looks to others’ faces
·  Absent facial expression
·  Delayed babbling
·  Lack of imitation
·  Inability to follow a pointed finger
These are just a few examples, but they may be early indicators.

If I suspect my child might have ASD, whom should I contact in my local area?

Your local community has a highly trained and knowledgeable evaluation team. By contacting your local Help Me Grow agency at 440-3099, the team will reach out to you and assist you throughout the process. We know it can be scary, but Help Me Grow staff will support you every step of the way.

How does the evaluation process work?

When you first contact Help Me Grow, you will work with a Service Coordinator to determine an initial visit. From there, the team will evaluate your child using a series of tests in order to help them decide the next steps. They will then refer to their local ADEP medical partner who works closely with the team in order to either rule out ASD or not. Whether your child receives a diagnosis of ASD or not, the Help Me Grow team will support and work with you through the process.

What tests will my child undergo?

Each team uses several types of evaluations, each of which give valuable insight and clues into your child and how he or she is developing. One such test may be the Routines-Based Interview, which is a series of questions, asking you about your family’s routines and activities throughout the day. Other evaluations may include the ADOS-2, which is considered the gold standard in assisting physicians in diagnosing an individual with ASD. All of these tests are a means of observing your child and sharing information that will help the partner doctor determine a diagnosis and help the evaluation team decide how to provide intervention, if necessary. By using these standardized screening and evaluation tools, we can help provide an earlier and more reliable diagnosis for your child.

Who is the ADEP Team in Miami County?

·  Diane Dynes, PhD, Speech-Language Pathologist
·  Penny Hines, OT/RL, Certified Health Coach
·  Kathy Greenawalt-Cherry, LSW, Developmental Specialist
·  Melissa Polley, Developmental Specialist
·  Bethany Covault, Developmental Specialist
·  Katie Kurtz, LISW, Developmental Specialist
·  Dr. Robert Landes, MD, Local Physician


Where will we go?

The entire process happens locally, in Miami County. Families do not have to drive hours to regional pediatric centers to get answers they need. Instead, you will interact with service providers and doctors in or near your home community.

Why does a diagnosis matter?

Research indicates that the earlier a child is diagnosed and receives appropriate intervention, the easier it is to offset the impact of the disability. A diagnosis can help you formulate a plan, along with the team’s guidance, to help your child pursue a quality and meaningful life.
For more information or to schedule a visit with our friendly Help Me Grow representatives to discuss an ADEP assessment, call (937) 440-3099.

Support Resources

ASD Strategies in Action from the Autism Certification Center provides everyone in your family with practical information, real-life examples, and skills you can use to support loved ones on the autism spectrum from early childhood through young adulthood.