Autism is a condition that increasingly affects more and more lives in Oakland County and throughout Michigan. If you’re looking for “autism testing near me,” it’s likely that you suspect that you or someone you love may have this condition. However, it’s important to know whether a particular type of local autism test is better than another option before you proceed, and you may want to know more options about autism testing for adults or autism testing costs as well.
Read on to learn all about autism evaluations and what they locally entail in Oakland County and Michigan at large.
How Do Psychologists Screen for and Diagnose Autism?
While autism is becoming more and more prevalent every year, many parents searching for autism testing near their home don’t understand that there are a variety of psychological tests that make autism evaluations carried out by a licensed psychologist, an effective tool for diagnosis.
While there aren’t any physiological means for autism testing like blood tests, local doctors can usually determine whether a child has autism by observing his or her behavior identifying some common signs that professionals have been trained to recognize as being indicative of autism.
What Are Some Common Signs of Autism?
As a psychologist performs an autism test on your child, they will be looking out for the following signs of this developmental condition:
- Unresponsiveness: While most children respond to basic stimuli such as the sound of their name, children with autism will, in many cases, appear disinterested and disconnected from the social world. Children with autism often display a lack of imagination, and they will refuse to play games that have elements of “pretend.”
- Psychological instability: Children with autism can become incredibly upset about what other people would consider to be minor changes in their environment. They may also avoid eye contact and prefer to be alone rather than desire engagement in social situations, and they might even refer to themselves as “you” instead of “I.”
- Lack of empathy: Many children who have autism are incapable of relating to other people, and they may be unresponsive when doctors or parents express emotional distress. Some children who have this condition may even be incapable of relating to their own emotions. An autism assessment may indicate that a child has autism if they do not respond to emotional stimuli.
What Autism Screening Tools Do Psychologists Use?
ADOS-2 Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule.
As part of your child’s autism assessment, your doctor may use the comprehensive ADOS 2 test. This test consists of a semi-structured observation format in which a psychologist observes as many of your child’s discrete behaviors as they can to create a diagnosis matrix based on a variety of different reactions to stimuli. While psychologists have room to improvise as they implement this test, but the ADOS 2 framework generally consists of a 45- to 60-minute period of observation in which a trained psychologist presents an individual who is suspected of being autistic with various scenarios that are known to elicit autistic behaviors.
Going into the ADOS 2 test, the doctor will plan to present the potentially autistic individual with a variety of “presses,” which are scenarios that parents or caregivers have identified as causing autistic behaviors in the person suspected of autism. This psychological test is separated into four different modules, and each module is used with a certain age group. The ADOS 2 framework helps psychologists diagnose autism by using agreed-upon and standardized contexts.
What Are Some Effective Autism Treatments?
If you’re concerned that your child has autism, you’ll first want to schedule a testing appointment. In the event you’re concerned about autism testing cost, you should know that most health insurance plans cover the cost of the ADOS 2 assessment and subsequent autism treatments; you should get in touch with a local psychologist to see if your health insurance plan covers autism-related tests and treatments.
One of the most popular types of autism treatment is called Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). This treatment consists of detailed observation of a child’s behavior along with the encouragement of positive behaviors. Aspects of ABA that may be used to help your child include Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), Pivotal Response Training (PRT), and Verbal Behavior Intervention (VBI).
If you’re curious about autism treatment for adults, then you’ll want to know that Occupational Therapy (OT) for autism is a common treatment for adults with autism who want to enter the workplace. In this type of OT, a therapist helps an autistic adult develop skills like handwriting, social interaction, and job-specific capabilities.
If you suspect a loved one is exhibiting symptoms of Autism, there is local help available. And the earlier you screen for Autism, the quicker you can begin necessary treatment which is shown to greatly improve functionality. To get an official diagnosis you have to schedule and undergo a psychological evaluation, also often referred to as “Autism Testing”. This will consist of an intake appointment, testing appointment, and a follow up appointment to interpret the results.
If you live in Michigan, there are a few psychologists in the area that are trained to perform this evaluation. Dr. Kat Lewitzke of Bright Pine Behavioral Health is one of a select few Doctors of Psychology in the Oakland County, Michigan area that is trained to properly administer and interpret the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule.
Similarly if you’re not within driving distance, you may contact us to inquire about a referral to a psychologist that is located closer to you who is able to provide the same level of care and service to your loved one.