Diagnosing children with developmental disorders is an important and difficult process. This paper intends to introduce you to the author’s area of interest in their Master’s program at Kaplan University and why this route was selected. Next, the author will introduce the reader to an assessment tool, the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale – Second Edition (GARS-2), and provide information about its uses. Finally, hits, misses, false positive errors, and false negative errors will be examined and applied to the GARS-2. With this information the reader will have a better understanding of one of the assessment tools that are used for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a focus on Applied Behavior Analysis at Kaplan University. About 7 years ago, I went job hunting and apparently found my calling. I began working as an instructional assistant to children with autism. I decided that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) was my future and am currently working toward becoming a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). My goal is to study the behaviors of children with autism and write behavior plans with the objective of improving challenging behaviors. To do this I must be sure that the students that I am working with are indeed autistic, or the behavior plans may not be efficient.
Assessing children with developmental disorders is a very important task. The results from assessments are used to ensure that the child is placed into the appropriate programs and are provided with the proper assistance. A child (disabled or not) has every right to achieve the most that they can, which starts at their placement. Think of a child on the Autism Spectrum and how difficult it must be to find the right fit. A parent/caregiver needs to ensure that the child is receiving the most academically in an environment where their behaviors are examined and treated in the appropriate manner (i.e. teaching alternative behavior to ones that are maladaptive and rewarding those that are constructive).
The Gilliam Autism Rating Scale – Second Edition (GARS-2)
The Gilliam Autism Rating Scale – Second Edition (GARS-2) helps evaluate children with challenging behaviors. Using this assessment tool a child with autism can be distinguished from a child with any other behavioral disorder (WPS Publishing, 2014). The Gars-2 helps to determine where on the spectrum a child falls and suggests a suitable intervention (WPS Publishing, 2014). The Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (2009) reports that the GARS-2 is targeted to those between 3 and 22 years of age and evaluation time is between 5 and 10 minutes.
The GARS-2 offers three subscales that behaviors typical to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) fall under: stereotypical behaviors, communication deficits, and social interaction deficits (WPS Publishing, 2014). These different subscales encompass the 42 items on the test that...