Manalapan Township Sensory Motor Integration

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Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

because your child firststeps makes all the difference


Empowered Learning Transformation Centers specializes in improving the lives of children diagnosed with Autism and related developmental and behavioral disorders. With expertise in applied behavior analysis, our Empowered Learning Transformation Centers is prepared to provide your child with effective and comprehensive treatment intervention tailored to address your child’s individual needs.


Together, with dedicated families, we are committed to making each child’s first steps the right steps towards a brighter future.


There is no single test that will definitively confirm a diagnosis of Autism. Rather, trained clinicians look for a series of symptoms and behaviors as identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). The diagnostic criteria for Autism are separated into three main areas, and a child must demonstrate symptoms from each of the three areas prior to the age of 3 in order to meet the diagnostic criteria of Autism:


1 Social Interaction

The child demonstrates qualitative impairment in social interaction, including at least 2 of the following:

Marked impairment in the use of nonverbal behaviors such as eye contact, facial expressions, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction.

Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with others (for example, the child does not bring things to show his parents)

A lack of social or emotional reciprocity (for example, the child does not participate in simple social games, such as “peek-a-boo”)

2 Communication

The child demonstrates qualitative impairments in communication including at least 1 of the following:

Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gestures)

In children with adequate speech, there is marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others

Stereotyped, non-functional, and repetitive use of language (for example, the child may say words or phrases out of context)

A lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level

3 Behavior & Interests

Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, including at least 1 of the following:

Preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus (for example, the child may be preoccupied with having all things in a particular color or collecting information about maps, etc.)

Apparent inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals (as in insisting on following a particular route or drinking from a particular cup)

Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (for example, the child may flap his hands, walk on her toes, or rock her body)

Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects


No single symptom or behavior indicates Autism. Rather, it is the combination of the above three areas.

Behaviors associated with Autism may be apparent as early as 18 months of age, and often become increasingly evident throughout early childhood (24 months to 6 years). See our Research section for further reading.

While there is no one test that can detect Autism, several screening instruments have been developed that are now used in diagnosing Autism. One such screening tool is known as The CHAT: The Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, which was developed to help identify Autism in children as young as 18 months. If you suspect that your child may have Autism, you might consider the following questions, and discuss your answers with your child's pediatrician or a trained clinician.



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