ADOS test Fort Myers

FOCUS Fort Myers Now Offering ADOS Test for Autism

FOCUS Therapy Fort Myers is now offering the ADOS test for autism diagnosis.

Unlike simple developmental screenings, the ADOS test is a more rigorous medical evaluation conducted by trained clinicians. It’s considered the gold standard evidence on which pediatric neurologists diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which has a current prevalence rate of 1 in 59 children (and 1 in 38 boys).

As providers of pediatric speech, occupational, physical and ABA therapy at FOCUS, we preach the value of intensive, early intervention therapy because we KNOW it works. It’s most effective when initiated before age 5 – but almost no health insurance provider is going to cover that treatment absent a qualifying diagnosis. One of the first steps in that process is an ADOS test.

What is an ADOS Test?

ADOS stands for Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. It’s a semi-structured evaluation of:

  • Communication (voice, speech and language skills)
  • Cognitive function
  • Social interaction
  • Social-emotional function
  • Adaptive skills
Fort Myers therapy for children with autism

Why We Still Need Autism Awareness: Perspective From Fort Myers Therapists for Children With Autism

Social media newsfeeds everywhere will be suddenly awash today with blue light bulbs and puzzle piece art, marking World Autism Awareness Day (every April 2nd) and the beginning of National Autism Awareness Month. At FOCUS, members of our team have been providing Fort Myers therapy for children with autism (and many other conditions) for more than a decade now.

Occasionally during Autism Awareness Month, we come across questions/hear sentiments like:

  • What difference do blue porch lights and profile pic frames make?
  • Doesn’t everyone already know about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at this point? After all, the CDC’s newest estimate that 1 in 59 children/1 in 37 boys are diagnosed in the U.S. now annually.
  • Do we really even NEED an Autism Awareness Month anymore?
To that last question, we say: All. The. Yes.
We’re aware of some controversy within the autism community about the April awareness campaigns and whether they’re truly helpful to families navigating ASD daily. Some wonder whether autism awareness falls short in offering a full and fair representation of the whole autism community. Some assert we should be promoting acceptance rather than awareness. None of these points are invalid because frankly, the spectrum is so broad and every child with autism (and the adults supporting them) experiences and processes it uniquely, so everyone’s perspective here is to be respected. 
Our take as FOCUS Fort Myers therapists for children with autism (which include speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and ABA therapists) is that we DO still need autism awareness – around the world, in the U.S., in Florida and right here in Fort Myers.
Here’s why:
occupational therapists

Why Our FOCUS Speech and Occupational Therapists LOVE Puppets

Power to the puppets!

For children with a range of difficulties and disabilities, our speech and occupational therapists in Fort Myers have seen striking benefits in working with puppets during our sessions with kids. Puppets, first and foremost, are fun (who doesn’t love Sesame Street?). But they can also help us engage children in ways they might otherwise struggle, namely in peer-to-peer and child-to-adult interactions. They can also help kids better understand certain functional roles and responsibilities in everyday life.

Puppets can be an entertaining yet powerful visual to help us illustrate action-word vocabulary or spatial concepts. As speech and occupational therapists, we can use puppets to help teach the rules of conversation, general social interaction and causal connections. A puppet might “forget” they shouldn’t interrupt or talk so loudly or push to the front of the line. Puppets can be frustrated, sad or angry about something, and it allows the child to explore those complicated feelings and situations without being overwhelmed  – because puppets are inherently silly too. They also tend to be more effective than a two-dimensional picture because they rely on visual, audible and tactile senses.

FOCUS Therapy Fort Myers Supports “Trees for Moms”

FOCUS Therapy is proud to support OneTree.org in its mission to reforest this community and beyond, one tree at a time. The “Trees for Mom” campaign by OneTree is a great local initiative that involves planting trees right here in Southwest Florida. It’s an opportunity to name a tree after a special mom in your life!

Mother’s Day is coming up – just a few days left –  and Trees for Mom is a sweet way to honor her with a lasting symbol, and simultaneously make Southwest Florida more beautiful. Each tree is just $12, and OneTree was co-founded by one of our own in the “FOCUS family!”

Our Fort Myers speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists at FOCUS believe in planting the seeds of effective communication, growth and well-being for the next generation. Success is achievable when we aim for steady, long-term solutions and stay the course.

girl smiling

FOCUS Has a Blog!

Welcome to the FOCUS blog! Our Fort Myers pediatric therapists are looking forward to sharing news, tips, research and inspiration.

We are approaching this as a way to connect with our families and the greater community. Feel free to share these blogs or contact us with questions, concerns or other feedback. If you have ideas for child  therapy blog topics, we want to hear those too!

Our goal here is to touch on issues that are of great importance to many of our families. Often, FOCUS sees children and parents who are facing the same kinds of struggles or have similar questions. They are usually curious about a lot of the same things and they also share many similar interests. We encourage you to explore our new site, browse the various blog topics and reach out to us if you want to follow up on any specific topic or issue.

FOCUS is a full-service child therapy clinic offering speech, occupational, physical and (coming soon!) behavior therapy/ applied behavioral analysis. We are privileged to serve children with a wide range of developmental delays and disabilities in Southwest Florida.