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What Exactly is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder associated with persistent deficits in reciprocal social communication and social interaction as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. While these deficits vary in severity with each individual, hence the term spectrum, symptoms are present from very early childhood. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to the following:

Reciprocal social communication and social interaction:

  • Avoidance of eye contact

  • No clear smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter

  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds or other facial expressions by 9 months

  • No response to name by 12 months of age

  • No gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months

  • No spontaneous play of “pretend” games (e.g., pretend feed a doll) by 18 months

  • Lack of initiation or continuation of play with peers

  • No interest in group activities and prefers to be alone

  • Exhibits delayed speech and language skills or remains non-verbal

  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)

  • Any loss of any previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills

  • Has difficulty talking about feelings of their own or other people’s feelings

Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities:

  • Repetitive motor or verbal behaviors

  • Demonstrates hand-flapping, body rocking, or spinning in circles

  • Repetitive finger movements

  • Restricted or repetitive type of play

  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings

  • Has obsessive interests

 

If your child exhibits any of the above more often than not, please don’t delay in asking us about an ASD evaluation or please meet with your child’s pediatrician immediately to determine if an ASD evaluation would be recommended. 

 

MMP now offers a comprehensive Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) evaluation

 

Our evaluation process requires 3 appointments and these are typically scheduled and completed within 2-3 months at our Ferndale office location.

 

Appointment #1 / Parent Interview

During this appointment, the psychologist will meet with the parent(s) to discuss a very comprehensive history of your child. The child does not attend this appointment. The appointment can take between 1-2 hours.

 

Appointment #2 / Testing Appointment

The psychologist works directly with the child to conduct the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2). The ADOS-2 is a semi-structured assessment of communication, social interaction, and play (or imaginative use of materials) that is appropriate for children and adults of differing developmental and language levels, ranging from nonverbal to verbally-fluent. Depending on which ADOS-2 Module is selected, the parent(s) may or may not be present in the room during the evaluation. This appointment can take up to 1.5 hours and is video recorded for review purposes only upon signed consent of the parent/legal guardian of the child.

 

Appointment #3 / Feedback Appointment

The psychologist will meet with the parent(s) to discuss the results of the psychological assessment, review the detailed recommendations for care, and answer any further questions you may have at that time. A final hard copy of the report will be provided to the parent(s) at the feedback appointment; additional copies of the confidential report may be mailed to identified service providers with signed consent by the parent/legal guardian of the child. The child does not attend this appointment. This appointment can take up to 1 hour.

 

How much will an ASD evaluation cost?

 

The cost of this particular ASD evaluation is $800 out-of-pocket for children up to age 18 and $600 out-of-pocket for adults, if insurance does not cover an ASD evaluation. 

 

The psychological evaluation for children involves a clinical interview with the parent(s), behavioral assessment, client record review, ADOS-2 administration, scoring, interpretation of results, and a written report inclusive of results and recommendations to be presented and reviewed with the parent(s). A psychological evaluation for adults involves a clinical interview, client record review, ADOS-2 administration, scoring, interpretation of results, and a written report inclusive of results and recommendations.

 

A partial deposit of $300 will be required at the first appointment if paying out-of-pocket and the remaining balance will be due upon completion of the feedback appointment. If the evaluation is covered by insurance, then only a copay is due at the first appointment and any remaining balance will be due upon completion of the feedback appointment. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card.

  

Is any of this cost covered by insurance?

Insurance companies set the rules for reimbursement and we cannot provide any assurance that testing services will be covered by insurance. It is in your best interest to talk to your insurance company first about Autism Evaluation Benefits/Coverage. Some insurance providers will only reimburse a portion of the costs and may require pre-authorization and/or a referral from a primary care physician.

 

Again, please contact your insurance provider to be certain about coverage for this evaluation and try to acquire a case manager to determine if the evaluation will be approved. We are happy to work with insurance should your provider approve this evaluation, but please note that if the evaluation is approved and billed through insurance, any cost not covered by insurance is your responsibility. Otherwise, the evaluation is $800 out-of-pocket for children up to age 18 and $600 out-of-pocket for adults.

 

To find out more about an ASD evaluation through MMP, please contact Brook at (248)-702-4907 or connectwithbrook@gmail.com