Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Clinical intake interviews include the reason for seeking the evaluation, and answering, “Why now”? In the first two sessions a developmental, academic, social, communication, sensory, and restricted and repetitive behavior history is obtained. You will be asked to complete and return the scores from several online questionnaires about autism, masking, and empathy.
I will also send you the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS-2) self-report questionnaire and ask you to provide the name and email address of someone who knows you very well to complete the SRS-2 (other adult reports, if you feel comfortable). At the end of these appointments, if further diagnostic clarification is necessary, I will administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule -2 (ADOS-2) to gather supplementary information.
Feedback is provided during the 3rd session where I review all of my findings including scores, and my professional opinion regarding a diagnosis.
Should you meet the criteria for ASD, I provide you with a brief diagnostic summary. If a full report is necessary for workplace accommodations, or just for your own records, I can create a detailed report including all of the information obtained from the interviews, as well as all of the scores obtained on the questionnaires. Included in the report is a list of resources for further reading and recommendations.
An ASD diagnosis does not change the person but does provide an understanding and context to the reasons why challenges occur. Therapy always begins in the same way- with education about ASD. Education is often the first step toward self-acceptance and ideally will lead to advocating for oneself in academic, social, and workplace situations.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies are used to teach ways to identify and modify ways of thinking and perceiving. These strategies are useful not only for ASD behaviors but also for co-existing conditions such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and/or PTSD.
Since not all young adults with autism spectrum choose to attend college, I find it particularly rewarding to aide in the transition towards greater independence by providing consultation to agencies at the request of parents of adults with ASD. I conduct observations of the adult in their workplace or community training program. I also provide feedback to staff and employers to create autism-friendly environments. Visual structure and routines are essential. By understanding what comes next, having predictable work situations, and providing clear and consistent visual supports, individuals on the spectrum can thrive.