Virtual testing services available!
Our practice’s autism evaluations are neurodiversity-affirmative and collaborative. We seek to help build a narrative (story) around the experiences you’ve had from childhood to today regardless of diagnostic outcome. At times, this narrative may include a formal autism diagnosis—this can be a validating and enlightening experience for individuals of all ages. While autism self-identification is widely accepted, a formal autism diagnosis provides opportunities for workplace and/or academic accommodations, clarity around support options, and specific resources for future planning.
For many adults, the adult autism test process is the first time they are understood, heard, and taken seriously by a health care professional. For children and adolescents, the process intends to provide caregivers with a better understanding of their child’s needs and strengths. Individuals aged 16 years of age and under also receive a personalized story book and/or age-appropriate letter explaining testing and findings.
Signs of Child & Adult Autism
Common signs of autism include troubles with neurotypical social interaction and communication, restricted or repetitive behaviors (stimming), and special interests. These signs may have been suspected during infancy, yet often become more obvious and labelled as problematic once social demands start to increase such as when entering the school system, going to college independently, or working a job without a structured schedule.
Relevant Blog Posts
According to the CDC, approximately one in fifty-four American children is diagnosed with autism. And, these numbers are rising. Plus, many adults who weren't previously diagnosed with autism are being diagnosed later in life. But, how is autism testing conducted?...
By: Bridget Wieckowski, PsyD The process of receiving autism evaluations for children and adults can be intimidating. Most folks do not have previous experiences of being assessed for something as personal as their identity, and you may be very curious yet anxious...
To elaborate on how individuals cope with increased social demands, stimming behaviors may include hand flapping, rocking back and forth, rubbing a comfort object, blinking repetitively, jumping, pacing, hair pulling, and repeating certain words or phrases. Special interests also vary and may change over time; individuals usually have an exceptional knowledge about their special interest(s) and find these topics quite easy to talk about.
Additionally, some autistic individuals experience delayed language skills, impaired motor abilities, ADHD-like symptoms (inattention and/or hyperactivity), and medical issues (gastrointestinal issues or epilepsy); the testing process seeks to clarify around whether signs and symptoms are due to autism and/or a medical or psychiatric condition. Many autistic adults are co-diagnosed with psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of experiences in a society that has neurotypical expectations for behavior and self-expression.
Diagnosis and Recommendations
Formally diagnosing autism spectrum disorder is a process that involves exploring experiences as far back as early childhood. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children are screened for ASD at 18 and 24 months of age. Screening tools at your child’s pediatrician’s office may identify areas of concern related to social skills, communication, motor development, and other developmental delays. Upon being told your child may have developmental delays, it is important to seek follow-up testing to identify exactly what is going on. Early intervention is key not only to provide appropriate support for the child, but to provide guidance for caregivers about next steps. As your child develops and grows, knowing what resources are available and how to provide a validating and safe space at home is especially important. Common recommendations after testing include referrals to an occupational therapist and/or speech language pathologist, individual and/or group therapy, parent support classes, academic and/or occupational accommodations, and neurodiversity affirmative readings for those newly learning about autism.
In adulthood, you may have started to wonder whether you are autistic based on feedback from others in your life, comparisons to autistic people, or through self-observation over time. You’ve likely done your own research and may have become familiar with recognizing behaviors such as masking or camouflaging, which are adaptive survival strategies to function in a neurotypical society. Many adults request autism testing to receive confirmation around their suspicions and to receive feedback about what else may be going on if they are not formally diagnosed with autism. At Relucent Psychology Group we provide you with guidance and resources at the end of your testing experience because we know you are seeking answers and support regardless of whether you receive a diagnosis or not. We also provide thorough and understandable information about the diagnostic process before, during, and after testing so that you fully feel prepared.
What can I expect during the autism testing process?
1.5-hour video intake
- If this intake is for a child under age 12, it will be attended by the caregiver(s) only. If the minor is 12 years of age or older, it may decided by the individual andcaregiver(s) who will attend the intake. We request that at least one person with knowledge of the minor’s childhood attend for the duration of the intake.
- For adults, you may bring a support person to the intake if preferred. You will be required to a sign a release of information form on the day of the intake (or in advance) for them to be present.
2 hours of testing (either in-person or virtually, depending on the location)
- Testing is focused on social-emotional skills and self- and/or other-reported observations.
1.5 hours of video feedback
- Split into two parts
- The first hour is approximately 2-3 weeks after your final testing session. It is to review your report and discuss recommendations.
- The remaining half hour is a few weeks later to discuss any lingering questions and clarify around referrals/recommendations.
Review of relevant records (optional)
- This may include school report cards with comments from teachers, proof of difficulties with workplace expectations, genetic testing, sleep study outcomes, medical records, and/or past legal records. Documents more than 5 pages in total will be reviewed at an additional fee quoted prior to services being provided.
Autism evaluation flat rate starts at: $2,500 for adults, $3,000 for children.
Take The First Step Towards A Formal Diagnosis
Most reports are completed within 1.5 – 3 weeks from the point that testing is completed. An expedited (rushed) report can be provided for an additional fee of: $500 to receive your report within four business days of test completion, or $750 to receive your report within two business days of test completion.
We are an out-of-network provider and do not directly bill to insurance companies. We are happy to provide a superbill at the end of testing. If you are seeking reimbursement, it may help to call your insurance provider to ask about your out-of-network benefits, deductible requirements, and reimbursement rates for CPT and ICD-10 diagnostic codes. Possible ICD-10 codes for autism evaluations are: F84.0 Autistic Disorder, F89 Unspecified Disorder of Psychological Development.
If you suspect you have a child with autism, or if you are an adult struggling with or simply curious about symptoms of autism reach out to us today by emailing Dr. Bridget Wieckowski at [email protected] to discuss scheduling an intake.
All in-person testing takes place in our Roseville, CA office