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Autism Assessments

Getting an autism diagnosis later in life doesn't have to be scary. The internet is filled with traumatic stories of individuals seeking an autism diagnosis, only to be gaslit and told they were not autistic. Most of these findings are based off of old information about autism and sadly, the mental health community has not kept up with the changing narrative around autism. 

I have a different, more inclusive way of conducting autism assessments. I put a lot of weight on the individual's lived experience (after all you are the expert of you). I move in a pace that is comfortable for you. I allow you to conduct the online assessments at home, in your own time. I also give you a heads up about the format of each assessment session, so you can be prepared. Most of us struggle with executive functioning and working memory, so having a list of questions that you look over prior to our interview can help tremendously. 

Writing on Computer

Common Questions about Autism Assessments: 

1. What methods/tools do you use?

I use a compilation of online assessments and online interviews. The assessments that I use include

Autism Spectrum Quotient

Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire

Repetitive Behaviors Questionnaire

Systemizing

Quotient–Revised

RAADS–Revised

The Aspie Quiz

Online Alexithymia Questionnaire

The interview consists of getting a bio psychosocial, collecting information about your childhood, developmental milestones, looking at what school, social, relationships, family dynamics were like for you as a child. Don't worry if you can't remember some of the details (most of us can't). Unlike other providers I don't require that your parents are a part of the assessment.

2. How long does the assessment take?

This depends on the individual and the pace that is comfortable for them. 

3. Do you cater to each individual's needs and accommodate when needed?

absolutely. We all communicate differently. If you prefer written communication we can establish a plan that works for you. If you prefer longer or shorter sessions, we make that work as well. Need to get up a stim/pace/fidgit? Please do so. 

4. How long have you been doing autism assessments?

4 years. I have been working with autistic clients for 19 years.

5. Do I really need a formal assessment?

No. There are pros and cons to having a formal assessment. The nice thing about the autistic community is that self-diagnosis is legit. No one will ask you for your "autism card" (in fact- this does not even exist). Autistics understand how difficult, costly, and inaccessible assessments can be. People choose to have an assessment done because they don't want to leave any stones left unturned. They want a professional to validate their experiences and have evidence of something they have questioned their entire life. In most of my assessments, the person doesn't want a formal report. They do not need it. The formal report can come in handy if you need accommodations or are applying for disability. 

6. If I don't want the formal report, is the assessment still worth it? 

In my opinion, the assessment helps you see yourself and your life through a new lens. We dive deep into your communication style, relationships, learning styles, mental health challenges, and sensory needs. Having this new information helps you build a life that works for you and is a plus when trying to climb out of autistic burnout

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