As a parent of three children, Dr. Cherwony understands what it is like to be concerned and worry about your child. At an early age, there is a wide range of what is considered normal development.  However, there are also definite blocks of time when most children will meet a milestone.  A developmental delay is when your child does not reach his/her developmental milestones within the expected time-frame. These delays can impact your child’s functioning in terms of his or her physical, cognitive, speech or language, fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional as well as overall behavior. In the event that the delay is ongoing, early intervention is key in order to help your child reach his or her full potential.

A Developmental Evaluation is conducted when there are concerns about a child’s development and there is a need to either diagnose or rule out Autism, Asperger’s, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and other Pervasive Developmental Delays.

Since each child is unique and can present with different symptoms, it’s important to have a comprehensive evaluation in order to determine if a diagnosis does in fact exist. Dr. Cherwony works with a multidisciplinary team of professionals to help identify the child’s strengths, assess overall functioning and needs of the individual in order to provide accurate diagnosis, if applicable. The diagnosis does not change your child. Rather, a diagnosis opens doors so that the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made. A thorough evaluation ensures that the child receives the appropriate intervention.

Studies show that children who are diagnosed early and participate in the appropriate intervention programs have better outcomes. A comprehensive developmental evaluation consists of an in-depth interview with parents, review of previous records, standardized assessments, including gold standard tests such as the ADOS-2, school observation or consultation, evaluation for speech and language, and occupational therapy.  Once the assessment is complete with your child, a feedback session with parents including a written report detailing diagnostic impressions and recommendations is provided.

Dr. Cherwony takes on a neurodiverse approach. This is a viewpoint that autistic, as well as individuals with ADHD, are wired differently from neurotypical people, rather than as having weaknesses.  It is an approach focused on acceptance of an individual’s variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions. The incidence of diagnosed autism in the United States is now 1 in 54 children, with boys being 4 times more likely than girls, according to the latest report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autistic adults and professionals who have embraced a neurodiverse approach believe that individuals who have a natural variation in their brain development do not need to be cured. Rather they need help and accommodations to allow them to excel and to reveal their unique strengths.