This is a short video of an adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Many of the adults I deal with in my practice are not just "high functioning" in terms of the autism spectrum, but also "high functioning" in terms of life in general. Employment, Friendships, Academics, Creativity.
While I know some individuals on the spectrum don't like the term "high functioning," this is the term in general practice. Here it's referred to Autism 1, something many people may not have heard of. This designation is based upon the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the manual we use here in Canada to diagnose most mental health issues) which includes several levels of support the individual needs. ASD-1 would be the least support.
As you can imagine the diagnosis on such a high functioning individual is not easy, and often I hear from patients that they are worried because of their particular attributes
(women, minorities, indigenous) that they will not be able to be assessed. Often this difficulty is because mental health practitioners have little experience with these populations, using the diagnostic tests (many doctors diagnose ASD without the use of normed tests!) or a lack of time. The procedures takes from 3-5 hours, plus time to score and review the answers, do the diagnosis and write a report. So I don't blame medical doctors for not having the ability to do such a diagnosis. It's difficult, time consuming and often insurance doesn't cover the cost.
I hope this video is useful. Other resources I often suggest include the website of Michelle Garcia Winners (www.socialthinking.com), especially for younger adults and teens.
We provide ASD assessments in our office in Burnaby. The office is located right on the SkyTrain at Production Way Station. It is handicapped accessible. While it is occasionally difficult to reach us because of the volume of phone calls and emails we get every day, once we connect we are usually able to arrange for an initial interview within a few weeks (2-3). The full assessment, if we decide it is appropriate, is usually completed soon after and we provide a written report and feedback session as soon as possible after that.
The cost of an autism assessment is $2,400.00 This includes the costs of the initial session, the testing and diagnostic process, and the feedback session. If you are going to college or university we may also need to complete a psychoeducational assessment, but not always. That's determined by the college or university you are attending.
Please read our webpage at www.relatedminds.com before contacting us so that you will have an understanding of the process, costs etc. You are then welcome to contact us either through the webpage, which has an email contact form, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org In the subject line of the email please put "adult autism assessment' so that we can prioritize your inquiry. Because of the lack of services in this area we try to see patients, especially adults, with concerns about autism spectrum disorder first.