Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined as having persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across a variety of contexts. Individuals with autism have deficits in social-emotional interactions and nonverbal communication. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder since individuals with this diagnosis have a range of symptoms across a spectrum.
Autism spectrum disorder is evaluated in a number of ways. We provide autism evaluations both as a covered insurance benefit and as a non-covered benefit. When we evaluate ASD using insurance, we have to conform to the parameters outlined by the insurance companies. Unfortunately, the “gold standard” of autism evaluation, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale, Second Edition (ADOS-2) is not covered by most insurance companies or the companies do not provide enough coverage for us to feel we can adequately use this invaluable instrument to assess, score, interpret, and write up the measures. Therefore, we will not use the ADOS-2 as part of an evaluation completed using insurance benefits. We have found that the state of Connecticut often requires the ADOS-2 to justify disability benefits under autism.
If we are not restricted by insurance company parameters, we would ideally conduct an extensive interview with the parent and complete a variety of measures with the child. These measures would include the ADOS-2, a measure of intellectual functioning, speech testing, and neuropsychological measures. We would also be able to do school observations of your child at school, daycare, or preschool. Unfortunately, these observations are not provided for by insurance companies but they provide us valuable insight into your child’s functioning in another context.
Once all testing has been completed, we will work to score and interpret all of the data to be able to construct a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s functioning. The report will include clear diagnostic clarification and recommendations for home, school, and in the community. We utilize IEP requirements for the diagnosis of autism in our impressions and recommendations sections so that our reports easily translate to the school setting to obtain accommodations for your child.