Diagnostic Evaluations For
Ally Behavior Centers uniquely offers diagnostic evaluations for Autism by in-house licensed clinical psychologists who have dedicated their careers to evaluating very young children for the presence of this disorder.
If you, your child’s pediatrician, daycare provider or another trusted source have observed autism symptoms and feel behavior therapy is needed, he or she should be evaluated for autism.
Our clinical psychologist can conduct a screening to detect criteria and other autism symptoms to determine the need for a formal evaluation.
Our goal is to simplify access to quality behavioral healthcare and get children access to the services they need as quickly as possible. Research shows early intervention ABA therapy gives children on the spectrum the best chance to reach their potential.
All insurance providers require a medical diagnosis of autism to cover ABA therapy services.
If you suspect your child has autism, there is no need to wait 12 to 18 months for an in-person diagnostic evaluation, which is the standard wait time in the DC area.
First Steps In Autism Diagnosis Process
The first step in the diagnosis process is to complete the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), available here. The M-CHAT is a short diagnostic screening survey intended to be completed by parents to identify autism symptoms. It takes around 10 minutes to complete and you get the results instantly. We strongly recommend sharing results with your child’s pediatrician for their input and thoughts on proceeding to request a diagnostic evaluation for autism. Others who may have insight on your child’s development include teachers, daycare providers, close friends and family.
If an evaluation is clearly the next step because the M-CHAT indicates your child is at risk of ASD, we encourage you to reach out to one of our centers or fill out our form online. We will get in touch with you within two business days and be an ally for you and your family in this process. To clarify, filling out this form only shows interest in our services and is not a financial or enrollment obligation.
What You Can Expect
If a diagnostic evaluation for autism is the clear next step, we’ll schedule you for that appointment with our own clinical psychologist. We’ll have you complete paperwork and attend the evaluation with your child in order to complete elements that require parent input. Appointments are always in-person and can last roughly three to four hours.
There are a number of recognized measures used by providers who evaluate a child for autism. At Ally Behavior Centers, we are always looking for the most accurate tools to use based on a child’s age, parent interview and on-site observations. Measures will focus on areas such as communication, social skills, and self-care skills, as well as thorough evaluation of emotional and behavioral patterns. A well-balanced and individualized combination of measures is always employed in order to deliver the most accurate and relevant results for every client evaluated.
Following the evaluation, there are additional measures for the parent to complete. Once all data has been collected, a formal and extensive report is provided to the parents for review with opportunities to discuss the results and findings with the provider. Reports are provided within 30 days. Should a diagnosis of autism be found, families are encouraged to consider their options and enroll in a program that best satisfies individual needs, clinical indications and the entire family’s dynamic.
At Ally Behavior Centers, full-time, center-based care is what we offer. Our services are often extended by the majority of our families deferring kindergarten by a year in order to give their child the maximum amount of intensive support available. Should one of our centers not be a good fit for a family, we are able to offer suggestions for other providers who we know and programs offered by the public school system. Pediatricians and insurance providers are also great resources for recommendations.
Our goal is to facilitate what is often a slow and confusing process for families and streamline access to high quality care. We hope to be a resource for you and help you navigate what can often feel like an overwhelming process with a lack of direction.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you within two business days.