Developmental Diagnostic Evaluation

The Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center (MLW/DEC) specializes in provides developmental diagnostic services to families with young children (birth -7 years) at risk for or with developmental disabilities.  The MLW/DEC has specialized in serving children with complex developmental disabilities, including: sensory integration, language processing and motor planning. The MLW/DEC has a particular expertise in serving children with autism spectrum disorders.

A diagnostic evaluation is a comprehensive review of a child’s medical and developmental status by an interdisciplinary team of professionals. The team at the MLW/DEC includes:

  • Psychologist
  • Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Occupational and/or Physical Therapist
  • Pediatrician

Other professionals who may be involved include:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Social Worker

The diagnostic evaluation strives to identify the child’s learning style, including areas of strength and weakness. An understanding of a child’s unique learning style can enhance the development of effective intervention strategies.

The evaluation process includes:

  • a careful review of the child’s birth, medical and educational records,
  • interviews with parents, educators, caregivers and other providers,
  • comprehensive assessment using standardized and non-standardized testing measures.

Parents are involved in the entire process, which will include an extensive dialogue with various team members to review their child’s social, adaptive and medical history. The evaluation can last up to 6 hours, with a lunch break. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the team will meet with the parents, provide a summary, and answer any questions the parents may have.

For more information or to make a referral, please complete this form or call (315) 472-4404 or email

215 Bassett Street Syracuse, NY 13210 P: 315 472-4404 F: 315 478-2337
© 2010 Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center