Adult Autism (ASD) Assessment
Even if you weren’t diagnosed as a child, you, or those around you may notice the symptoms of Autism later in life. An adult assessment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may provide answers for social, behavioural, and/or sensory concerns you have and offer a path to better manage these difficulties.
For more information, check out our informational document on Adult ASD Assessments or look through the questions below.
Here are questions we are often asked about our Adult ASD Assessment along with our answers.
What is ASD?
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn and behave. Studies have shown a physical difference located in the front part of the brain, called the frontal lobe. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder can experience a wide range of symptoms and severity of functional impairment. While people experience ASD differently, common symptoms generally involve some combination of communication and social difficulties, narrow interests, repetitive behaviour, and/or sensory issues. Asperger’s syndrome, which used to be its own diagnosis, is no longer separate from the autism spectrum disorder.
What is an ASD assessment?
These assessments specifically assess for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Adult ASD assessments are an especially lengthy, complicated process for two main reasons:
ASD is a developmental disorder, which means that symptoms must be present in early childhood. This means that clinicians need to collect a thorough developmental history.
There are several conditions that have overlapping symptoms with ASD. That means that these other conditions must also be evaluated.
Why be assessed for ASD as an adult?
If you suspect that you have ASD, an assessment can offer several benefits.
If you are diagnosed with ASD, the diagnosis may:
Provide you an explanation for the challenges you are experiencing
Provide an understanding of your challenges to the people you choose to tell
Open up access to services and accommodations at school and/or the workplace
Replace an incorrect diagnosis with overlapping symptoms
Even if you are not diagnosed with ASD, the assessment is very thorough and may provide you with an alternate diagnosis that could offer the same benefits listed above.
What do adult ASD assessments look like?
ASD assessments involve both assessing for ASD and evaluating you for conditions with overlapping symptoms. It is a lengthy process with multiple appointments:
1. Initial interview with the psychologist to determine if there is reason to proceed with an ASD assessment. The clinician will meet with you, collect a history of concerns, and provide a recommendation for what is required (ex. testing and/or interviews) to determine whether or not you have ASD.
2. 6-hours of testing (two 3-hour sessions)
3. Interviews with teachers or other care providers (as needed and with your consent)
4. 1-hour follow-up session where the psychologist will ask any clarifying questions they have after the testing and interviews
5. If needed and with your consent, the psychologist will conduct informational interviews with teachers and/or other care providers
6. Once all the information is gathered, the psychologist needs 5 hours for scoring and report writing
7. 1-hr feedback session to go over the results, answer questions, and offer recommendations for next steps.
How long does it take to do an adult ASD assessment?
The entire process from the initial interview to feedback session takes a minimum of 7 weeks. Based on appointment scheduling, it can take as long as 12 weeks.
Are ASD Assessments covered by OHIP?
No. Many private insurance plans provide some degree of coverage for psychological assessments. Check with your insurance provider to verify what they will cover. Although you don’t need a referral to book the appointment, some insurance companies require a doctor’s referral for reimbursement.
How much does an Adult ASD assessment cost?
The cost of an Adult ASD Assessment at the Center for Pediatric Excellence is a baseline of $3,150 ($225 per hour x 14 hours). This includes time the psychologist spends with you, interviews with teachers and care providers, and test scoring and report writing. Your clinician will discuss with you any additional time needed to complete reports or complete additional interviews which is billed at a rate of $225/hour).
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
No. Autism Assessments are not covered by OHIP, so they do not require a referral from a physician. Check with your insurance provider to verify what they will cover. Although you don’t need a referral to book the appointment, some insurance companies require a doctor’s referral for reimbursement.