Each individual diagnostic assessment varies depending upon the level of severity and
number of symptoms present. It also depends upon the availability of past test scores and
documentation of developmental history. Thus, the cost may vary among similar clients, and
not all insurance policies provide full coverage for diagnostic assessments. Diagnosis for any
childhood or adolescent disorder usually involves a clinical interview with the parents,
clinical interview and behavioral observations of the child/adolescent, review of
pre-existing test scores, reports, and school records, and administration of several
standardized, objective tests, depending upon the number of symptoms present and needs of
the client. This can be accomplished in one full day, but it is usually best to spread out
testing across several individual sessions to avoid the effects of fatigue.
Evaluations for autism spectrum disorders usually begin with an intake interview in order to
gather general information. This is followed by the use of two tests which are considered to
be the "gold standard" in the field of Psychology for diagnosing autism. They are the Autism
Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2 (ADOS-2) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised
(ADI-R). Whenever possible, these tests are included in our diagnostic process here at the
Thede Family Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
Once the testing is completed, a detailed report of the results, along with recommendations
for future treatment and possible accommodations that may be needed in school, is
generated. The results are fully explained to the client and parents during a final feedback
session. Copies of the final report can be disseminated at the discretion of the parents, and
treatment for problematic symptoms is generally available following the evaluation, if the
family chooses to pursue this course of action.