Child Autism Evaluations

Child Autism Evaluations

Child Autism Evaluation

Early signs of autism

Identifying children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can be life-changing and provide them access to services and information. Early intervention and targeted therapy can lead to tremendous gains for young children with autism; however, for insurance companies to cover these services, children typically need a diagnosis of Autism. Older children may need a diagnosis to justify an IEP or 504 plan in school, private support services, or other programs that require medical documentation of autism. We offer a balanced approach to evaluation, to identify both the child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a subtype of autism which many families identify with. Children with PDA experience significant anxiety, which often results in meltdowns, tantrums, and other behaviors. While PDA is not currently a separate diagnosis, when described along with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, it can open the door to understanding and strategies for families and educators.

An Autism Evaluation Consists of:

  1. Several online appointments—An evaluation starts with a 2-hour parent interview. During this first appointment, we will ask you about your child, their detailed developmental history, and what you are looking for in an evaluation. Depending on the child and their needs, we will schedule additional testing appointments for the child. Testing can be completed virtually or in person depending on the location and needs of the family. You will also have some rating scales to complete online to provide more information about your child’s typical behaviors.

  2. A written report of results

  3. An explanation of results, with recommendations and next steps for suggested follow-up. The goal is that by the end of this process, you have a clear understanding of your child’s strengths and needs and a vision of what supports the child might need moving forward.

We are comfortable assessing children as young as 18 months for early signs of autism up through adults of any age. Our experience allows us to meet the needs of different types of clients, rather than using a “cookie-cutter” approach. We are aware of the different ways that autism can present in girls and women, and some of the testing and interviews with females focuses on their experience of “camouflaging” their symptoms and their internal experiences involving socialization. We are familiar with the concepts of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), which many families have found and identify with.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Evaluations may include (but are not limited to):

  • ADOS-2 (Modified at this time due to telehealth), a structured observation for symptoms of autism

  • CARS-2, a checklist of symptoms associated with autism

  • MIGDAS-2, a structured interview to assess for symptoms of autism

  • ADI-R, a structured developmental interview focusing on early symptoms of autism

  • M-CHAT, a todder checklist assessing risk for autism

  • SCQ, a checklist for symptoms of autism

  • Vineland-3, an interview about adaptive functioning

  • CAT-Q, a rating scale about camouflaging symptoms

  • Measures of Visual Motor Integration

  • Measures of child development

  • Cognitive measures

  • Achievement/Academic Measures

  • Measures of Sensory processing

  • Measures of Executive Functioning

  • Social Language and Social Pragmatic Assessments

  • Other Qualitative Measures of Possible Autism Symptoms

We do not work with any students or trainees, and we personally complete all of the work that goes into each psychological evaluation. We take pride in being able to help families learn about their child and learn what they can do to help them moving forward. In addition to providing a written report of results, we write referrals for services and share information with your other care providers at your request. We want you to walk away from an evaluation with a clear understanding of your child’s strengths and needs and knowledge of what to do next to support your child.

Many evaluations can be completed over telehealth, though We currently require clients 6 and under to be seen in person. With all evaluations, parent interviews and informing appointments can be completed over telehealth with in-person or telehealth testing. If you wondering what is possible for your situation, please reach out for more information.

The cost of psychological evaluations for children varies because the purpose of evaluation and the needs of children can vary significantly! The total cost of any evaluation includes all sessions, a report of results and recommendations, and a feedback session to explain results and answer any questions that you may have. For children, the maximum estimated cost is $6,200, though the cost is prorated based on time, and for many children, the total cost is less. For children 4 and under, the cost is typically $2000-$3000.  For children ages 5-7, the cost is typically between $2500-$3500. Assessments address the subtleties of pragmatic language, masking, and executive functioning. We ask about how children experience different social situations—rather than just seeing what we can observe—if autism is present, these answers are often very different from the responses in neurotypical individuals. We are patient and able to find rapport with most patients—when working with PDA, we understand that sessions may sometimes need to be adjusted or shortened, and we are willing to do that to get the best results from a child.

We are excited to announce that we have immediate availability for some types of children’s evaluations! If you have difficulty taking time off of work or need weekend availability, Dr. Rovane would be a great fit for your family! Dr. Rovane is a post-doc with availability for many types of children’s evaluations. Reach out to learn more about scheduling with her!

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