About the Autism Diagnostic Clinic
Our mission is to excel in care and education by:
- Providing high quality clinical services (e.g., diagnostic evaluations and treatment) to our patients and families
- Improving access to care and improving outcomes for children by training the next generation of clinicians in best practices for evaluating, diagnosing, and treating autism
Our general hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Occasional early evening appointments are available for group-based therapy.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disability that impacts how the brain functions. An estimated 1 in 36 eight-year-old children have ASD (Center for Disease Control). Individuals with ASD experience difficulties with social communication and interaction, and restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests, such as repetitive language or movements, difficulties with changes, as well as over-reactivity or under-reactivity to things in the environment (e.g., sensitive to certain sounds or textures). In addition, individuals with ASD may also experience tantrums, aggressive or harmful behavior directed toward themselves and others, sleep disturbance, feeding difficulties, and delays in daily living skills, such as toileting, dressing, and hygiene.
Our diagnostic evaluation is a two-part process that includes two appointments. The first appointment involves a clinical interview, and the second appointment is when the comprehensive evaluation (testing) takes place.
Clinical Interview Appointment
The first appointment is an interview completed with you (parent or guardian) and your child, either in person or through a video appointment (i.e., telehealth). During this appointment, we will ask you questions about your child’s development and observe your child. This appointment generally takes about 45 to 90 minutes and helps clinicians come up with an appropriate assessment plan for your child and family.
After the Clinical Interview Appointment, many children are scheduled for a testing appointment. The tests administered are unique to your child, but in general, these tests typically include:
- Developmental or cognitive assessment
- Assessment of social interaction and play skills
- Adaptive skills assessment
- Speech Language Evaluation*
- Social-Emotional assessment
- Feedback session with caregivers to discuss any diagnoses provided, along with recommendations**
The testing appointment typically lasts between 3 to 4 hours. A summary of diagnoses and recommendations is typically provided the day of the evaluation, time permitting. For older children and adolescents, we may schedule a lunch break if we think that testing will take 5 or more hours.
*Speech language pathologists may be included in on evaluations depending on your child’s needs.
**Occasionally, clinicians may decide to gather additional information before conducting the feedback session. If this is the case for your child, your clinician will discuss options for you and your family the day of your appointment.
- Think about your child’s developmental progress (e.g., Is your child meeting developmental milestones as expected?). If you are unsure of when typical developmental milestones are achieved, please review websites and other resources that provide information about developmental milestones
- Send copies of previous evaluations, including any specialized school plans or testing that have been completed to us by fax 402-559-1783 or email email@example.com:
- Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team Report (MDT)
- Psychological Evaluations
- Make sure your child is present for the appointment
- Do your best to make sure your child sleeps well the night before the appointment and eats prior to the appointment (e.g., breakfast or lunch)
- Plan for extra travel time to accommodate for traffic (testing appointments start promptly at their scheduled times)
- Administer any prescribed medications as normal
- Bring your child’s glasses and hearing aids, if applicable
- You may bring snacks, drinks, and comfort or leisure items for your child to access during breaks. We want you and your child to be as comfortable as possible throughout the appointment.
- No peanut products are allowed in our clinic
- Bring any records (e.g., IEP, other evaluation reports) that may assist the team in understanding your child
- If you need support (e.g., transportation, hotel) to make it to our clinic, please reach out to our Care Coordination Team firstname.lastname@example.org to see what supports may be available.
Services include a combination of targeted time-limited individual, family and group therapy. These therapies may be provided while children and families/caregivers wait for more intensive services. We plan to expand our clinic’s capacity to offer group-based therapies.Common areas addressed in individual and/or family therapy:
- Following Directions
- Gaining attention
- Anxiety or Phobia
- Safety planning
- Calm down routines
- The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) offers online resource centers for caregivers that provide information about certain disorders (e.g., anxiety, ADHD, autism) and topics (e.g., bullying)
- The National Autism Center at May Institute has an FAQ section with answers about autism from experts and resources
- e-Unstuck and On Target. e-Unstuck and On Target is an online learning course to support executive functioning and behavior regulation in children with autism. It was developed by the authors of the school-based Unstuck and On Target executive functioning curriculum.
- Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome and Social Communication Problems (Jed Baker)
- Preparing for Life: The Complete Handbook for the Transition to Adulthood for Those with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome (Jed Baker)
Services are provided by faculty, fellows and interns from MMI's integrated Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (iCASD).
Individuals can self-refer or be referred by a physician or other health care professional, social service agency, school district or family member.Schedule an appointment through MMI’s Patient Information Office. You may be placed on a waiting list for an evaluation.