Autism Spectrum Disorder Testing in Flint, MI

For parents who have just found out that their child may be on the autism spectrum or adults who are concerned they may be struggling with this condition, the first response is often fear followed by worrying about what you should do next. In the past, autism spectrum disorder was often diagnosed in older children or adolescents and it might have been misdiagnosed or undiagnosed until adulthood. Today, pediatricians, educators, caregivers, and other professionals are trained to recognize behaviors during development that point to autism spectrum disorder diagnosis before the age of two. Early diagnosis, intervention, and treatment planning can be essential to help young people achieve their full potential, but if you’re an adult concerned you may be on the autism spectrum, diagnosis can still provide you with answers to lifelong questions about why you view things differently than others and approach things in unique ways. At Learning Dreams, we offer comprehensive autism spectrum disorder testing in Flint, MI to empower individuals and families to better understand the autism spectrum, how it impacts a person’s abilities, and offer the necessary support and therapies to ensure those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can thrive in all areas of their lives.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder, often referred to simply as autism or ASD, is a diagnostic term for a range of neurodevelopmental differences that impact a person’s ability to process stimuli, communicate effectively with others, and maintain control over their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. 

Why Would I Seek ASD Testing for My Child?

At a young age, your child’s pediatrician, teachers, daycare workers, or others may recognize certain behaviors that indicate a potential ASD diagnosis. In these cases, they will likely talk to you about seeking an official diagnosis from an assessment professional. Some of the behaviors that may be observed in young children include:

  • Not recognizing or responding to their name by the time they’re a year old

  • Failure to show interest in objects or people by a year to 15 months old

  • Lack of interest or curiosity in playing, pretending, interacting with others or with toys, or engaging in repetitive play between 1 and 2 years of age

  • Responding in unexpected ways to stimuli 

  • Delay in developing speech or giving answers that don’t seem to fit the questions

  • Self-soothing or repetitive behaviors like rocking, flapping, spinning, or swaying

Should I Seek ASD Assessment for Myself?

As adults, we may notice our own differences and wonder whether or not we may be on the autism spectrum. Adults may hesitate to receive a diagnosis, but the knowledge gained through appropriate evaluations can help individuals to understand themselves better. If you’ve struggled to maintain healthy relationships or had a hard time in social or professional situations, the results of an assessment can give you the knowledge you need to improve the areas of your life where you may have struggled in the past. Some of the common signs of ASD in adults include:  

  • Repeating certain words, only discussing a small range of topics, or giving answers that don’t relate to questions

  • Struggling to empathize with or understand the motivations of others

  • Difficulty expressing or explaining their own emotions and motivations

  • Disliking or avoiding eye contact

  • Don’t enjoy interacting with others think of themselves as being “loners”

  • Having extreme negative responses to changes in routine

  • Avoiding stimuli like loud noises, bright lights, and physical interaction because these stimuli feel overwhelming

  • Becoming laser focused on certain topics but struggling to pay attention to information outside of their interests 

  • Engaging in self-soothing or repetitive body movements like rocking, flapping, or swaying

What to Expect Before ASD Evaluations

At Learning Dreams, we believe that each person needs to receive an individualized and comprehensive assessment battery to ensure we can deliver a report that offers a complete picture of an individual’s needs and strengths. In order to create this personalized testing battery, we take the time to get to know our clients during an intake visit. For children, we’ll ask that parents be ready to take time to discuss family history, reports from caregivers or pediatricians, and other data that will give us the information we need to choose the best assessments for the individual. Adults will be asked to be prepared to review this information about themselves. Additionally, we’ll have several questionnaires that need to be filled out. If it’s easier for you to complete these forms at home, we’ll let you take them with you and get them back to us before your assessment sessions.

What to Expect During ASD Evaluations

After your initial intake, we’ll schedule your evaluation session or sessions. We usually set aside several hours in our schedule for assessment sessions. We know that children (and even adults) may have trouble paying attention for an extended time, so we encourage you to bring snacks and be prepared to take some breaks. However, we want to push boundaries to ensure we understand the individual’s full capabilities, including attention span and energy levels. During a testing session, the client may be asked to complete traditional paper or computer generated tests. We will also engage in diagnostic interviewing, ask you to complete tasks as we observe, and complete ASD rating scales throughout the process. If we notice an individual is struggling to maintain attention or getting excessively tired, we will schedule a second session to complete our testing battery.

What to Expect After ASD Evaluations

After your or your child complete the testing process, your psychologist will carefully complete a report that compiles all of the information we’ve received. More importantly, these reports give our clients a complete understanding of the individual’s areas of strengths and struggles as well as our recommendations for continued support. During a follow up session, we’ll review the information in our report and make changes based on any new information you provide. Additionally, our trusted team can continue to offer a range of support services in our practice as well as partnering with outside specialists to provide the services and care those on the autism spectrum need to lead fulfilling lives, including: 

  • Counseling – those diagnosed with ASD can find therapy beneficial to learn certain skills to cope with the emotional aspects of this diagnosis as well as developing skills to communicate with others and establish healthy relationships.

  • Medication management – when necessary, we can help our clients to receive appropriate medications to address health and behavioral aspects of ASD.

  • Educational support – from tutoring to consulting with school districts, we offer our clients the help they need to achieve their academic goals.

  • Occupational therapy – children and adults diagnosed with ASD may find occupational therapy beneficial. These services help individuals with a wide range of needs to perform daily tasks more easily and with less stress and discomfort. 

  • Interactive metronome (IM) – often considered an effective treatment for individuals who struggle with learning and cognitive function disorders, interactive metronome may also be an effective option for those on the autism spectrum who struggle with sensory symptoms. IM is an evidence-based, computer-automated therapeutic modality considered best practice in the field to help those with a range of diagnoses and conditions, including ASD.

  • Dietary and medical services – we’re happy to partner with dieticians, nutritionists, pediatricians, physicians, and other professionals to create a complete support network for our clients with ASD. 

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Partner with the Learning Dreams Team

Learning, cognitive, and behavioral challenges can’t be cured, but Learning Dreams provides the tools and resources to enable our clients to work around these difficulties and achieve great success. We also offer services to help individuals adapt and recover from physical injury or limitations. We are here to help you live your best and most fulfilling life.  

HOURS

Monday- Friday 9 AM- 9 PM

Saturday 10 am- 5 pm,

 

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

ADDRESS

5103 W. Pierson Road

Suite 3
Flint, Michigan 48504

CONTACT
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