Autism Testing Could Hold The Key To Meaningful Accommodations And Interventions
Are certain behaviors or developmental delays causing you to wonder if your child is on the Autism Spectrum?
Or are you an adult who suspects that autism is at the core of your symptoms?
Receiving an accurate diagnosis, regardless of age, can ensure that you or your child get the support you need. An autism diagnosis can open doors and create opportunities, especially when proper interventions are used. Our autism evaluation specialists are invested in helping you get the answers and support that you need.
What Are The Signs Of Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can present social, emotional, and cognitive challenges. Because autism exists on a spectrum, some individuals experience more severe symptoms than others, while alternatively, certain symptoms may be overlooked or misdiagnosed as other issues. Common signs of autism in children include:
- Delayed cognitive, language, and motor skills
- An inability to regulate big emotions and respond appropriately to stress
- An avoidance of smiling or making eye contact
- Impulsive and/or inattentive behaviors
- Repetitive movements
Some of these symptoms may be characterized as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). And while there is a significant co-occurrence of autism and ADHD diagnoses among children, it’s essential to understand how each unique condition presents itself.
On the other hand, many adults can struggle through their whole lives without ever being tested for autism. For these individuals, symptoms typically include:
- Trouble understanding social cues
- Extreme social anxiety
- Difficulty understanding and verbalizing emotions
- Strict adherence to daily routines
It goes without saying that every element of life, from school to work to relationships, can be affected by autism-related challenges. But with the support of an accurate diagnosis and a specialist who understands the benefits of potential interventions, you or your child can learn strategies for managing stress and regulating emotions.
There Are Often Hurdles To Receiving A Thorough Diagnosis
Autism is relatively common, and the rate of diagnosis has steadily increased over the years as awareness about ASD has spread. For adults whose symptoms were overlooked in childhood, there has been a particularly strong surge in testing for autism as we learn more and more about the spectrum of experiences.
Unfortunately, the demand for autism evaluations often outnumbers the amount of experienced testing specialists available. This can cause an unnecessary delay in diagnoses, preventing those with autism from receiving support. And generally speaking, an official diagnosis is required to receive certain interventions and services.
Our assessments can open doors to Individual Education Programs (IEPs), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), equine-assisted therapy, as well as disability services. Not only can our testing specialists create a foundation for receiving necessary accommodations—their guidance can help improve your overall quality of life.
At Tampa Bay Area Counseling, We Use State-Of-The-Art Autism Assessments
At TBAC, autism tests and evaluations are available to children, teens, and adults alike. Using the gold standard of autism testing—the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule II, or ADOS-2—we will thoroughly analyze your or your child’s symptoms, provide a clinical diagnosis, and work with you to receive ongoing support.
The Evaluation Process
All of our testing is done in our office and takes approximately 2-3 hours. Clients are encouraged to bring snacks, water, and anything else to keep them comfortable. When testing minors, parents will not be permitted during the evaluation itself.
Your Clinician will provide you a thorough report and assist you with obtaining any necessary accommodations (typically within 2-3 weeks of the evaluation). As your testing specialist reviews the assessment with you, you will have plenty of time to ask questions and learn more about available interventions. Ongoing therapy through our practice is available to clients looking to improve social, emotional, and cognitive skills.
An autism diagnosis can be the next step toward a more functional lifestyle and improved relationships. With the help and support of our team, you can get the answers you need to navigate life with autism.
Still Have Questions About Our Autism Testing Services?
An autism assessment sounds expensive.
You can’t put a price tag on getting answers that you may have been seeking for years. Though testing can be an expense for private-pay clients, it’s ultimately an investment in your/your child’s quality of life. We offer payment plans for clients who may have difficulty paying the fee all at once.
What if I disagree with the results?
Your testing specialist will review the process and go over any questions with you prior to the autism evaluation; we want to ensure that you feel prepared and know what to expect.
That said, autism assessments go beyond your evaluator’s opinion. The ADOS-2 is an objective, evidence-based metric, and it’s considered the gold standard of autism testing. Results using the ADOS-2 are typically very accurate.
Is there a wait to be evaluated?
While many testing specialists have a several months wait, we usually can get started quickly with clients. When we don’t have a waitlist for autism testing (which is currently the case), the evaluation process can begin within a month.
Find Answers, Get The Support You Need
At Tampa Bay Area Counseling, we offer the ADOS-2 test to children, teens, and adults who suspect their symptoms and behaviors align with Autism Spectrum Disorder. To get started, contact us.