Autism Assessment & Diagnosis for Kids
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that affects an individual's social communication, interaction, and behavior. It is called a "spectrum" disorder because the symptoms and severity can vary widely among those affected. Autism is characterized by challenges in areas such as social interaction, verbal, and nonverbal communication, and restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or interests.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of ASD has been steadily rising in recent years. Current estimates indicate that 1 in 36 children in the United States are diagnosed with ASD. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for improving the long-term outcomes for individuals with ASD and helping them reach their full potential. Recognizing this growing demand, we at Behavioral Innovations have made it our mission to focus our efforts on providing comprehensive and accurate autism diagnosis services to support families in their journey toward understanding and managing autism.
Autism Assessment Services at Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism
At Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism, we provide comprehensive and accurate diagnostic assessment services to help families in Austin, San Antonio, College Station, Houston, and Colorado navigate the complexities of an autism diagnosis. Our experienced team uses evidence-based assessment tools and techniques to identify the unique strengths and challenges of each child.
Our autism evaluation services include:
- Initial screenings and consultations to determine the need for a comprehensive assessment.
- A thorough diagnostic evaluation using scientific methods.
- Detailed diagnostic reports, including individualized recommendations for evidence-based interventions and supports.
At Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism, we understand that the process of obtaining an autism diagnosis can be overwhelming for families. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team is here to support you every step of the way, providing expert diagnostic assessment service, extensive care and guidance right from the beginning.
Preparing for a Diagnostic Evaluation
A diagnostic assessment for autism can be a crucial step towards understanding your child's unique needs and accessing the appropriate resources and supports. At Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism, we strive to make the evaluation process as comfortable and stress-free as possible for both the child and their family. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a diagnostic evaluation:
- Gather relevant information: Collect any pertinent documents, such as medical records, school reports, and any previous evaluations or assessments. This information will help our diagnostic team gain a comprehensive understanding of your child's developmental history.
- Talk to your child: Explain the evaluation process to your child in simple, age-appropriate language. Reassure them that the appointment is an opportunity for them to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with professionals who are there to help and support them.
- Be prepared to discuss your concerns: During the evaluation, our team will ask you questions about your child's developmental milestones, behavior, social interactions, and any concerns you may have. Spend some time reflecting on these topics and consider taking notes to ensure that you provide accurate and detailed information.
- Plan for comfort: Ensure that your child is well-rested and has eaten prior to the appointment. Bring any comfort items, such as a favorite snacks, toys, or blanket, to help your child feel more at ease during the evaluation.
- Stay calm and supportive: The evaluation process can be emotionally challenging for both you and your child. Remember that our team of professionals is here to support you every step of the way. Remain calm and encouraging, and don't hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification.
By preparing in advance and knowing what to expect, you can help create a more positive and productive experience for your child during their diagnostic evaluation at Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism.
What to Expect During the Evaluation
At Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism, our goal is to create a comfortable and supportive environment for both the child and their family during the autism assessment process. Here's what you can expect during the evaluation:
- Initial consultation: Our diagnostic team will start by discussing your concerns and reviewing any relevant records, such as medical history and developmental milestones, to get a clear understanding of your child's background. During this initial consultation, caregivers will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire that covers various aspects of your child's development, behavior, and history. This questionnaire will provide valuable information to our diagnostic team, enabling them to tailor the evaluation process to your child's unique needs and offer the most accurate and reliable assessment possible.
- Structured and unstructured observations: The evaluation may include both structured and unstructured activities designed to assess your child's social, communication, and behavioral skills. Our team will observe your child's interactions, play, and responses to different situations.
- Collaboration with other professionals: If needed, our diagnostician may collaborate with other professionals, such as speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, or psychologists, to gain a comprehensive understanding of your child's unique strengths and challenges.
- Diagnostic tools: We use evidence-based diagnostic tools, to accurately evaluate and identify signs of ASD.
- Feedback session: Once the evaluation is complete, you will meet with the diagnostic provider who will provide you with detailed feedback, including the results of the assessment, any diagnoses, and recommendations for next steps, such as appropriate interventions, therapies, and support services.
- Written report: You will receive a comprehensive written report that outlines the findings of the evaluation, including the diagnostic conclusions and recommendations for evidence-based interventions and support tailored to your child's needs.
The entire evaluation process may take several hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the assessment and the individual needs of your child. Rest assured, our compassionate and experienced team provides accurate and thorough assessments.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can a child be diagnosed with autism?
Although there is no specific age limit for diagnosing ASD, early signs can be detected in children as young as 18-24 months. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for improving long-term outcomes for individuals with ASD. At Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism, we conduct autism evaluation for children under 10 years of age.
Where is this diagnostic service available?
We are currently offering autism evaluations in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, College Station, and Colorado, with plans to extend this service to other areas shortly
How long will the evaluation take?
The duration of an autism evaluation can vary depending on the complexity of the assessment and the individual needs of the child. Typically, an evaluation may take several hours to complete, with additional time needed for report preparation and feedback.
What is the cost of an autism evaluation?
At Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism, we currently offer a flat fee for autism evaluations to ensure transparency and simplicity in our pricing structure. The cost of the evaluation includes the initial consultation, assessment, and feedback sessions, as well as the comprehensive written report. To help families manage the cost of the evaluation, we provide a 'super bill' upon completion of the assessment. This itemized bill contains detailed information on the services rendered and can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement, depending on your specific insurance plan and coverage.
Will insurance cover the cost of an autism evaluation?
As we continue to negotiate with various insurance providers to include our diagnostic services under their coverage, these services currently require out-of-pocket expenses from our clients. Upon request we can furnish a "super bill" following the completion of an assessment. This itemized bill provides a detailed breakdown of all the services we've rendered, enabling our clients to submit it to their insurance companies for possible reimbursement, subject to the specific terms of insurance plan and coverage.
What happens if my child receives an autism diagnosis?
After receiving an autism diagnosis, the next steps involve developing an individualized intervention plan that addresses your child's unique strengths and challenges. This may include therapies such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, or social skills training.
Can a child outgrow an autism diagnosis?
While some individuals with ASD may show significant improvements over time with appropriate interventions and support, ASD is generally considered a lifelong condition. It is essential to continue providing support and resources to help individuals with ASD reach their full potential.
Diagnostic Provider Spotlight - Dr. Kearie Newman
Dr. Kearie Newman obtained her Clinical Psychology Doctoral Degree with honors, in 2020. Over the course of 15 years, she has accumulated clinical experience in various settings such as outpatient facilities, private practices, and psychiatric centers. For her pre-doctoral internship, she worked at Marcy Correctional Facility/Central New York Psychiatric Center. Following her internship, Dr. Newman accepted a full-time role at Central New York Psychiatric Center's Psychology Department. The facility treated individuals with mental illness and severe personality and behavioral disorders.
Throughout her career, Dr. Newman has conducted diagnostic assessments for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, mental and behavioral disorders, personality disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her diagnostic approach follows a scientist-practitioner model that applies relevant assessment technologies and empirically supported clinical interventions. Dr. Newman utilizes a comprehensive analysis to assist in diagnostic clarification and treatment planning.
Diagnostic Provider Spotlight - Dr. Melissa Miller
Dr. Melissa Miller is a Licensed Psychologist with over 20 years of clinical experience working with both children and adults. Dr. Miller earned her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University. She completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center/VA Medical Center Consortium. Dr. Miller began her career in academia, working as faculty in medical center settings where she engaged in a combination of research, clinical, and teaching activities. Since 2013, she has focused exclusively on clinical work, primarily in outpatient and telehealth settings.
Dr. Miller specializes in evidence-based assessment and treatment that draws from the most up-to-date research documenting what works best for specific concerns and/or conditions. She is experienced in conducting a wide variety of diagnostic assessments, including assessment of autism, ADHD, intellectual/cognitive, and psychological concerns. Dr. Miller enjoys being able to clarify diagnoses for her clients and providing them with detailed recommendations in order to inform and assist with treatment planning. She believes strongly in the importance of early intervention, particularly for children with autism, and considers it a privilege to be able to help families in this regard.