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Living with autism spectrum disorder starts with an evaluation | 2 Your Well-Being

6-year-old Jaxon Burns lives with autism spectrum disorder. His diagnosis started with an evaluation by a clinical psychologist.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — As a 6-year-old, Jaxon Burns loves to learn math, play with action figures, spend time with his older brother Isaiah and make treats in the kitchen with his mom. 

Behind his smile and cheerful spirit are challenges he's faced since he was a baby. 

"He walked a little later than other children, he didn’t start speaking until between 2 1/2 to 3 years old, he got frustrated a lot when he wanted something and was not able to verbalize it," said Aurea Pardo, Jaxon's mother. 

Jaxon lives with autism spectrum disorder which causes him to have difficulty with social interaction.

He's not alone. The CDC estimates 1 in 36 children will receive an autism spectrum diagnosis in their lifetime. 

"It can mean difficulties with the nonverbal aspects of interaction with gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, difficulties forming and maintaining relationships, and difficulty engaging in reciprocal conversation," said Dr. Jenna Mendelson, a licensed psychologist at LeBauer Behavioral Medicine. 

Part of living with autism begins with a diagnosis and an autism evaluation. 

After Pardo got her son evaluated, that’s when he started to receive services.

"It started with speech because he was nonverbal but then with him falling a lot and having accidents it went to him knowing that he needed physical therapy and occupational therapy," said Pardo. 

Doctors say don't wait if you have concerns. 

"Between the ages of one and three especially there’s a critical neurological window during which early intervention can be exponentially beneficial for kids so we want to get kids in as early as we can," said Dr. Mendelson. 


  • Detailed developmental history
  • Cognitive testing
  • ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule)
  • A measure of adaptive functioning (can be interview or questionnaire)
  • A battery of questionnaires:
    • For a caregiver AND at least one person who sees the individual outside the home
    • Broadband screening measures
    • ASD screeners

For more information on autism and getting an evaluation scheduled, click here.


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