Diagnostic Evaluations for Children and Adolescents

Information About Diagnostic Evaluations for Children and/or Adolescents

What is our goal in offering diagnostic evaluations?

Our goal is to use state-of-the-art techniques which are employed by trained professionals with expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) to provide a thorough diagnostic assessment to individuals with known or suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder (or Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder).

What is the purpose of a diagnostic evaluation?

  1. To obtain or rule out a diagnosis of a developmental disorder.
  2. To have a thorough assessment of where a child falls along the autism spectrum, including strengths and weaknesses in the areas of social and communication skills, as well as, unusual interests or behaviors.
  3. To gain an understanding of a child’s intellectual potential.
  4. To help develop a treatment/education plan geared toward a child’s needs.
  5. To educate the family about a child’s needs.
  6. To help identify appropriate support services for the family.

What does the diagnostic evaluation entail?

  1. A comprehensive interview with parents/caregivers using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R).  The ADI-R is a formal, standardized diagnostic instrument administered by a trained professional.  The ADI-R is designed to elicit a full range of information needed to produce or rule out a diagnosis of an ASD.  The ADI-R usually takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to administer.  The ADI-R, along with the ADOS-2 (described below) are considered the “gold standard” of diagnostic instruments in the field of autism.
  2. A standardized observational assessment of the individual’s communication, socialization and play/creativity along with other behaviors characteristic of ASD’s.  This assessment is called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Second Edition (ADOS-2). And usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour to complete.
  3. A developmental evaluation of the child using standardized tests of cognition, language and nonverbal abilities.
  4. Academic assessment (when appropriate).
  5. When possible, a school visit, to observe a child in their school environment and to meet with the school professionals involved with him/her.
  6. Discussion of findings and recommendations with parents and school staff.

What will happen at the appointments?

The first appointment is used to complete the ADI-R (the parent interview).  You should NOT bring your child to this appointment.  This appointment generally lasts 1 ½ to 2 hours.  The second appointment will involve formal testing of your child with the instruments listed above.  This appointment may last up to 2 hours, depending upon the age of the child and his/her needs.  We generally ask parents to bring along a snack for their child for one of the testing breaks.  We try to be sensitive to the needs of each child and so may divide the testing into more than one session.  After these appointments, the evaluator will try to schedule a time to observe your child in his/her school setting.  Finally, once the evaluation is complete, a parent feedback session will be scheduled to review the results and recommendations made;   this session usually lasts an hour to 1 ½ hours.

What do I bring to the first appointment?

If they have not been returned prior to the evaluation, please bring copies of the questionnaires that were mailed to you, along with any previous assessment that may be relevant.  It may be helpful to review baby books or home records prior to your appointment ass there will be several questions about when your child obtained various developmental milestones (e.g., walking, talking, toileting, etc.).

What if I need to cancel an appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, we request that you do so 24-hours prior to the scheduled appointment time.

Payment

The initial deposit for a complete diagnostic evaluation is $1500.00.  This fee covers the first 10 hours used for test administration, scoring of tests, report writing and face-to-face feedback.  If the time used exceeds 10 hours, the fee is $180.00 for each additional hour.  This may include time spent for school observations, participation in CSE meetings, as well as additional scoring, report writing, etc.

We do not accept third party payments.

For Private Payment – One-half ($750.00) is due at the completion of the first appointment with the remainder due prior to receiving the complete report.

We DO accept credit cards.