Do You Suspect You Or Your Child Have Autism?
Is it difficult for you or your child to make friends, understand social and emotional cues, or veer from your routine?
Are everyday experiences and environmental stimuli often overwhelming?
Have you ever wondered if certain symptoms or challenges are related to autism?
If you’re the parent of a child who is not meeting specific developmental milestones, you may be concerned that underlying neurological or behavioral factors are at play. Maybe they have a hard time in social situations or don’t fully understand others’ emotional responses. They may become easily agitated or overwhelmed by sensory experiences like loud noises and strong tastes and smells. You may find it challenging to maintain eye contact with them, and though you want to know how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking, it can be hard to communicate.
In addition, you may have noticed that transitions are particularly challenging for your child. Perhaps they seem to be developing at a slower pace than their peers, or maybe they become hyper-focused on one subject or hobby without much interest in other things. It’s possible that you would describe them as rigid or uncomfortable with changes in their routine. When distressed, your child may have difficulty managing their emotions, leading to conflict, meltdowns, or other upsetting behaviors.
And while you don’t want your child to be labeled or pathologized, it may be time to consider if testing for autism is necessary. With the information you gain from an autism evaluation, you can create a treatment plan, accommodations, and a more comfortable existence for your child.
Perhaps You’re An Adult Struggling With Autism-Related Challenges
On the other hand, you may be an adult who suspects that autism is behind some of your tendencies, behaviors, and setbacks. Maybe you’ve always felt different from others or struggled to maintain strong, fulfilling relationships. You may encounter ongoing conflict with your partner, family members, or peers because they feel like you don’t respond to their emotions appropriately. Though you want to maintain harmony, interpersonal relationships have always been hard to navigate.
By receiving a thorough psychological diagnostic assessment, you can know for sure if you fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. With answers, you can take the next steps toward a life of clarity, connection, and self-acceptance.
How Common Is Autism?
We continue to learn more and more about autism spectrum disorders, and there are many ways that neurodivergence manifests. Due to the wide range of symptoms and behaviors associated with autism, it’s hard to quantify just how many people are on the spectrum, though some research suggests that one in 100 children will be diagnosed¹. Unfortunately, however, signs of autism tend to get overlooked in childhood—especially among girls—causing growing adolescents, teens, and adults to struggle without proper accommodations and support.
At West Houston Psychology, we view the autism evaluation process as a door opening to greater understanding and support. By getting the answers you need about why you or your child experience the world differently, you can make informed choices that will help you thrive.
Autism Evaluations At West Houston Psychology
We treat and embrace our clients through the lens of neurodiversity. Neurodiversity Is the viewpoint that brain differences are normal and should not be viewed as deficits. Our autism assessments are designed to help you understand how you or your child's brain works and identify the most helpful environmental supports. And with our evaluation process that is both extensive and personally customized, you can feel confident living comfortably and intentionally with autism.
Once a diagnosis has been made, we will help you understand treatment options, strategies for symptom reduction, and resources available to you or your child.
The Evaluation Process
Here at West Houston Psychology, autism evaluations are done for every age group (children, adolescents, teens, adults) and made up of two components: a diagnostic interview and a two- to three-hour assessment that will conclude if autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is present. Part of this process will be used to rule out other mental health issues (including anxiety and PTSD) or determine if certain issues are co-occurring. A tailored report will then be made to clarify your diagnosis. For parents of children with an autism diagnosis, we recommend that you share the evaluation report with their school.
From there, our evaluation specialists will help you get the information you need to make accommodations at home, school, and work. There are a range of interventions, including ongoing mental health treatment, that can help to improve your or your child’s outlook and daily functioning. We may have a counselor on staff who can meet your needs, or we can refer you out to local resources that will help.
An autism diagnosis can be the start of a new understanding of yourself or your child. By getting the answers you need through an autism evaluation, you can begin to thrive.
Perhaps You’re Curious About Testing For Autism But Aren’t Sure If It’s Right For You…
Service Fees:For Doctoral Level Clinicians: Initial Session: $225 (60 minutes) Therapy Sessions: $165 (50 minutes) Testing: $150/hour (includes scoring, interpreting and report writing) For Masters Level Clinicians: Initial Session: $150 (60 minutes) Therapy Sessions: $125 (50 minutes) *Accepted Payment Methods: American Express, Mastercard, VISA, Discover, All Debit Rates are typical, based competitively (in many cases lower) for the West Houston area private practice clinicians. The pricing for testing depends on the type of evaluation. Please call for rates so that we can give you an accurate estimate based on what type of testing that you are requesting. We are happy to discuss this with you, so please call with questions!
Do you take insurance?We are in network with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Healthcare and out-of-network with most other insurance providers. We can, at your request, provide you with a detailed medical receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. You are encouraged to check with your insurance directly to inquire about what is covered on your specific plan. Please note – submission of claims to your insurance company requires us to assign a mental health diagnosis. Additionally, evaluations for learning disabilities and ADHD are usually not fully covered by insurance companies as they deem these services “educational” rather than “medical.”
What happens in therapy?Think of therapy as a nonjudgmental, safe space designed to help you process your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. During your session you and your clinician will talk with the goal of guided self-exploration. We will work together to identify areas of distress and methods of alleviation. We work to build coping skills, create new ways of thinking, and change troublesome behaviors. Everything discussed within this space is confidential, and the ultimate goal is to help you feel better.
How does virtual therapy work?We provide telehealth services through our secure platform. Clients are emailed a link along with their appointment reminder which connects them directly to their clinician. You are able to connect by computer, tablet, or smartphone. The availability of telehealth allows us to be even more accessible to you and ensures you receive the support you need.
What’s the purpose of a psychological evaluation?Evaluations (also referred to as ‘testing’ or ‘assessment’) are a highly effective way for psychologists to pinpoint mental health diagnoses with precision. There are many instances when an individual may experience various different symptoms that cause distress, and feel uncertain about what type of treatment would be most beneficial. By completing a psychological evaluation, we can identify a diagnosis, which then allows us to better tailor treatment to fit your needs. Psychological evaluations are routinely completed for the purposes of ADHD diagnosis, and to assess mental health prior to elective surgeries or adoption proceedings.
Answers That Offer Insight
If you suspect an autism diagnosis behind certain symptoms, behaviors, or challenges, we offer psychological evaluations that can provide you with the answers you’ve been looking for. To find out more about how we can help or to schedule an appointment, please contact us via email, our site, or by calling (832) 906-4434.