Welcome to the Miller Diagnostic Survey (MDS)
The Miller Diagnostic Survey has evolved from over 40 years of assessment and treatment of children with autism. It was designed and developed by Arnold Miller, Ph.D., Director of the Language & Cognitive Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts. (Dr. Miller -- with his late wife Eileen Eller-Miller -- also developed the Miller Method for children on the autism spectrum www.millermethod.org).
The purpose of the survey is to gather information needed to accurately assess the child's capacities. Such an assessment is helpful to the child's teachers and therapists in tailoring a program to the child's needs. It also helps you, the parent and caregiver, and those working with your child, to assess your child's progress over time.
The MDS is organized developmentally in that categories such as body organization, social contact, communication and symbolic functioning, include specific questions about behaviors from both earlier and later stages of development. The questions are based on observations which parents and teachers are likely to make in their everyday interactions with the child. In a few cases a parent may not know the answer to a question. In these cases, they are asked to set up a "simple experiment" so they can directly observe the child's response to the situation set forth in that question. They can then answer the question based on the child's actual performance.
It is important to answer all the questions. If you fail to answer a question, you will be unable to transmit the MDS until you do so. Once a parent or caregiver transmits her or his responses to the questions by pressing a button after completing the survey, a computer program organizes the responses into a profile. Then, a senior staff member at the Language and Cognitive Development Center reviews the profile and writes a brief report with recommendations about the child to the parent or caregiver. A copy of a typical report with names changed is available here.
Mother's response after receiving this report:
"The report is a 10, it is so close to being Roger, if I didn't know better I would've thought you met him in person!"
Disclaimer. While the MDS has been shown scientifically to be both a valid and reliable instrument, it is not a substitute for direct, face-to-face evaluation of a child by a qualified professional. The formulations derived from parents responses to MDS questions, should be viewed as useful preliminary formulations that need to be confirmed by face-to-face assessments.
To get an MDS report with recommendations for your child, you must do the following:
Pay $100US to the Language & Cognitive Development Center and complete the assessment form. Once the check or credit card information is processed, within 30 days you will receive a report with recommendations formulated by either Dr. Miller or a senior staff member at the Language and Cognitive Development Center.
Note: The $100 fee is waived for parents whose children are attending a Miller Method program in a public or private school where Dr. Miller or senior LCDC staff are involved in regular consultation.
Return this form with payment to the Language and Cognitive Development Center (LCDC), Suite 5, 154 Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02459 or phone in credit card information to Doris Manville or Dr. Paul Callahan at (800) 218-5232 or (617) 965-0045. You may also fax the information to (617) 965-0289.
Parent Name: _____________________________
Child's Name: _____________________________
Date MDS Sent: ______________________
Work Phone: ________________________
Home Phone: _____________________
Paid by: (Circle one) Check, Money Order, Credit Card, Purchase Order
Credit Card: (Circle one) MasterCard, Visa
CC #: ________________________
Expiration Date: ____________________