Advantages of private developmental evaluations

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Advantages of private developmental evaluations

Parents have several options when they're looking for an assessment for their child to determine whether their child presents with an autism spectrum disorder. One of those options would be a private developmental evaluation or a diagnostic assessment. A parent might find a private assessment to be helpful in terms of getting really comprehensive treatment planning. The school system might do an assessment; however, their treatment plan is going to be pretty circumscribed to what services the school can offer. There are other state-run agencies, for example in California, we have the Regional Centers, and they might also provide an assessment, but again, it will be sort of circumscribed to what that agency is set up to provide. A private evaluation is going to provide recommendations and treatment planning across a broad range of functioning areas for the child. That's going to include recommendations for school, recommendations for home, recommendations for adjunct providers, as well as recommendations for any state services the child might be eligible to obtain.

Watch Video: Advantages of private developmental evaluations by Allison Kawa, PsyD, ...


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Allison Kawa, PsyD

Child Psychologist

Alison Kawa is a licensed child psychologist specializing in the evaluation of children and adolescents.  Her pre- and post-doctoral training emphasized child and adolescent testing.  She was a fellow in the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic where she acquired extensive training in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and a range of other developmental disorders.  During this time, she also obtained certification from the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC) on the gold standard instruments (i.e., ADI-R and ADOS) used in autism evaluations.  Following her fellowship, she became Senior Assessor at UCLA where she worked for four years.

Alison completed the PsychoEducational Diagnostic Services Program (PEDS) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Assessment at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar.  In this setting, she conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents with a diverse range of issues including ADHD, Learning Disabilities, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.  She also completed the Child Therapy in a School Setting program offered by Phillips Graduate Institute, where she gained training and experience in play therapy, social skills groups, and therapeutic interventions appropriate for adolescents. 

While completing her graduate training in psychology, she held a staff position at Working With Autism, Inc., where she worked individually with children with autism, provided case management and supervision, and developed and implemented a staff-training curriculum.  It was through this position that she acquired a love for teaching and training. In addition to her private practice, she teaches pre- and post-doctoral fellows at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar, where she also works as a supervisor and consultant.

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