Comprehensive autism spectrum diagnostic assessment

I specialize in working with Autistic adults who are diagnosed later in life. Many people come to me for diagnostic clarification and have gone through their lives searching for ways to understand themselves because they have had the pervasive experience of being misunderstood and are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Because people don't know what they're dealing with, they have often had painful and confusing social, learning, and work-related experiences and have gotten message that they are not good enough the way they are. It has often felt like others in their lives react like it's their fault or they intend to be this way. Teachers, therapists, friends, family, and employers have been equally challenged by not knowing what's going on and are often themselves searching for answers.

Without an accurate diagnosis, people do not understand their own neurology, and how it has impacted their lived experience, relationships and sense of self. Further, an accurate, neuro-affirming diagnosis can assist Autistic adults in acquiring the most effective services to support them in navigating neurotypical normative expectation while living the life they want and valuing the person they are. Autistic adults often come to me for diagnostic clarification to better understand themselves, their unique, neurology impacts their lived experience and sense of self. Other Autistic adults come to me to seek recommendations for educational and/or occupational accommodations.

Most people they often have not had a clear understanding of why they are having the difficulties they are. Others around them are also frustrated and may ask themselves what is happening to me, the person I love, or the person I work with? Why is it so hard to have relationships with one other?

In a diagnostic assessment we use a variety of tools to try and find some answers to your difficulties. This begins with a conversation between you and I, because I want to know your perspective on these difficulties, and I want to know how you understand yourself. It's also going to involve what the world of psychology calls "standardized measures", which are tools aimed at understanding your specific developmental difficulties in the areas of social, communication, sensory responsivity, and areas of interest. I also want to know what those that are in relationship with you have observed about these domains. Then we are going to put all of this information together to create a picture of your specific neurological strengths and challenges and determine if you have an autism spectrum disorder.

How it can help

After we gain an understanding of your neurological strengths and differences we can start to create strategies to make your environment and relationships work better for everyone. People tend to like themselves better when they understand what's happening, so you may experience a better sense of self and self-worth. You will also be in a position to develop strategies for sensory accommodations, and ways to organize yourself and manage your time.

Personal relationships usually improve once you both know what you're dealing with. You will be able to build on a shared understanding of what's happening in your marriage, family and friendships, and develop individualized work and school accommodations to make interactions in those environments more successful for everyone.

How the process works

  1. Schedule a brief phone conversation where we can talk about your specific goals, answer any questions you may have, and if we decide to go forward, we will schedule all assessment-related appointments.
  2. I'll send you a link to my client portal, where you can access the forms you'll need to complete before our first meeting. The client portal also gives you access to your telehealth appointments and payment information.
  3. Our first meeting involves a clinical interview where the primary goal is to gain information about your developmental history and current functioning in the areas of social relationships, communication, and interests. Please upload your completed forms from step 2 above. I may ask to interview your parent or partner to gain further information on your developmental history and current functioning.
  4. The second meeting is one 4-5 hour telehealthsession which involves interactive testing. The goal of all assessment measures is to gain more information about the unique ways your brain processes information, your interests, social experiences, communication style, sensory responses and general living out in the world.
  5. Next, I will send you links where you can access 4-6 assessment measures to complete on your own prior to the feedback session.
  6. The third session is a feedback session by now I have brought together the information you told me, the information your parent/partner provided, the testing results and have tried to create a picture of what is happening for you. During this session I present all of that information to you and take your feedback, which I will integrate into the final report and diagnosis.