ASD Diagnostic Clinic

NESCA is committed to addressing the ongoing need for early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. NESCA is pleased to introduce the ASD Diagnostic Clinic, a clinic providing in-person ASD Diagnostic Testing, a new service designed to provide early detection of Autism in early childhood so that families can access services rapidly.

NESCA’s ASD Diagnostic Clinic is comprised of neuropsychologists and psychologists who specialize in the early detection and treatment of ASD in children ages 2 to 5.

ASD Diagnostic Testing is a formal diagnostic assessment provided by a neuropsychologist with expertise in identifying ASD. The goal of the ASD Diagnostic Clinic is to (1) provide rapid detection of ASD and (2) identify appropriate interventions to treat ASD.

NESCA’s ASD experts integrate information and data from multiple sources and measure a child’s skill set to provide the most accurate diagnosis and identify the most appropriate action plan following diagnosis. We evaluate ASD in line with the recommendations set forth by the National Research Council’s Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism.

 

ASD DIAGNOSTIC CLINIC FAQS:

Who is a candidate for ASD Diagnostic Testing?

ASD Diagnostic Testing is critical for children ages 2 to 3 and may be appropriate for children up to age 5.11. Children may be referred by their caregivers, early intervention providers, pediatricians, medical specialists or educators.

How is ASD Diagnostic Testing administered?

ASD Diagnostic Testing at NESCA includes:

  • a structured, “gold standard,” empirically-validated measure of ASD;
  • direct observation of a child’s emerging cognitive, language and social skills in a flexible, play-based format;
  • review of developmental history and collateral (parent and provider) report;
  • care, attention and clinical perspective from a neuropsychologist with expertise in ASD.

Is NESCA’S ASD Diagnostic Testing a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation?

No. Many families who pursue ASD Diagnostic Testing may subsequently choose to pursue a comprehensive neurodevelopmental or neuropsychological evaluation now or in their child’s future to track developmental growth and assist with educational planning.

ASD Diagnostic Testing is a diagnostic assessment including clinical observation and gold-standard measures for ASD. NESCA’s ASD specialists will discuss the recommendations for your child based on the results of the ASD Diagnostic Testing, such as recommendations for specific therapies or participation in critical multi-disciplinary assessments (e.g. a Speech and Language Evaluation). While the majority of results from ASD Diagnostic Testing determine if your child meets criteria for ASD, occasionally there are complexities which signal the need for a comprehensive neurodevelopmental or neuropsychological evaluation. Your ASD expert will discuss these potential complexities and next steps.

Why should I pursue ASD Diagnostic Testing at NESCA?

The American Association of Pediatrics recommends early screenings and follow-up diagnostic assessments for ASD rather than the “wait and see” approach. Early detection and diagnosis of ASD results in immediate and long-term positive outcomes for children. If interventions are delivered early, there is less risk that developmental delays become permanent. This is because during early childhood, the brain is able to rapidly acquire new skills and grow.

Is ASD Diagnostic Testing covered by my insurance?

ASD Diagnostic Testing at NESCA is covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS). NESCA can provide receipts for ASD Diagnostic Testing for clients to attempt to submit to their insurance carrier, should they not have insurance through the above carrier. NESCA does not submit ASD Diagnostic Testing claims to any carrier other than BCBS and cannot guarantee any reimbursement when claims are submitted to them by the client.

When and how will I receive the results?

Results and recommendations are reviewed and discussed in a virtual diagnostic feedback meeting with caregivers. In order to provide rapid access to appropriate services, caregivers receive immediate access to the final written diagnostic report within 24 hours of the caregiver feedback meeting.

What’s “next” after my child participates in ASD Diagnostic Testing?

The written ASD diagnostic testing report provides the documentation needed to access ASD-specialty treatments and services (including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy). NESCA’s diagnostic testing reports also provide families with tailored referrals to effective interventions and therapies based on your child’s needs, including Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Parent Consultation/Coaching. NESCA’s ASD Diagnostic Clinic is dedicated to family-centered care and offers ongoing consultation and support with NESCA’s early childhood and ASD experts following first diagnosis. NESCA will remain available to you and your child from early childhood into adulthood to support important transitions, such as the transition from early intervention to preschool, preschool to kindergarten or middle school to high school.

Is ASD Diagnostic Testing provided through remote or telehealth methods?

NESCA’s ASD specialists believe in the utility of in-person direct observation of a child’s behavior and functioning. NESCA is pleased to offer contactless in-person appointments with a number of health and safety protocols in place. While NESCA neuropsychologists conduct in-person assessment of your child’s behavior and skills, caregiver intake meetings and diagnostic feedback sessions are provided remotely.

I completed checklists for developmental delays and ASD at my pediatrician’s office. Do I still need ASD Diagnostic Testing?

Yes. While developmental screenings are a critical aspect of your child’s medical care and can identify “red flags” for ASD, a screening tool (such as a parent questionnaire) cannot provide a diagnosis of ASD. There is no definitive or proven laboratory test, medical test or questionnaire that provides a diagnosis of ASD. A diagnosis of ASD must be provided by a qualified and highly-trained ASD specialist through direct observation of a child’s behaviors using gold-standard measures as well as a thorough review of developmental history.

 

If you are interested in learning more about ASD Diagnostic Testing through NESCA’s ASD Diagnostic Clinic, please complete our online Intake Form.