Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions:
I suspect my child or loved one has autism spectrum or a developmental disorder, what should i do?
We understand how concerning it can be when faced with the possibility of a developmental disorder in your young child. Enclosed is a link to an online test called the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), which is a developmental screening tool for toddlers between 16-30 months of age. It can help identify if your child would benefit from a more thorough developmental and autism evaluation and can be scored online for free at http://www.m-chat.org/. If you still have concerns after taking the online test, we recommend that you contact A.M.P Autism for a free phone consultation. Note that the earlier you intervene, the better your child’s future will be.
How does the free phone consultation work?
The free phone consultation is a brief discussion (approximately 15 minutes) about the developmental or psychological concerns for you, your child, or loved one, or about seeking therapy for psychological/mental health issues. It is during this discussion that we determine if meeting in-person is beneficial or necessary.
In most instances, you will speak directly to Tamar Apelian (Psy.D.), the founder and head clinical psychologist of A.M.P. Autism. If someone is not available to take your call, please leave a voice message. We follow HIPPA guidelines, which means that your confidentiality and privacy are protected.
No therapy or clinical care is offered during this state. We must establish a relationship with you our your loved one as a patient first. If you have a medical emergency or psychiatric crisis, please dial 911 or follow-up with your existing treatment provider/s.
What should I expect when getting an evaluation?
What to expect largely depends on the type of testing and the age and abilities of the individual. The specifics can be better addressed during the free phone consultation. However, typically for younger children, testing is interactive and involves playing with toys and activities. For olden children, adolescents, and adults, testing also involves developmentally-appropiate activities as well as structured interviews with them and their families. Overall, testing focuses on the child’s or individual’s ability to perform certain tasks and interactions.
For a brief description by type of evaluation, see Clinical Services.
What if my child or loved one was previously diagnosed?
Even if an individual has been previously diagnosed or evaluated, it is often necessary to re-evaluate as that person gets older given the changes in developmental expectations and needs. Current therapies, treatments, or circumstances may no longer be beneficial for their development and may need to be altered. In some case, a previous diagnosis was erroneous, and a new report would correct the diagnosis.
Do you provide therapy?
For Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, we not only focus on providing evaluations and diagnoses, but also offer individual and family psychotherapy as well as family/caretaker training, case management, and skills training.
For Psychological Issues, such as depression and anxiety, we do offer psychotherapy. You can learn more about our Treatment Services here.
Diagnosing these types of disorders is a specialty in and of itself. They are spectrum disorders, meaning they greatly vary in serverity from person to person. Due to the complexities and nuances inherent with spectrum disorders, it takes a great deal of expertise to accurately diagnose at the clinical level. If a diagnosis is made and therapy is recommended with other types of providers, we provide the detailed report so other professionals can start the necessary type of treatment. We are also happy to assist in coordinating the care with the other providers to ensure that the recommended treatment plan is implemented.
How long until I can be seen?
Most new patients are seen within one to six weeks depending on mutual scheduling needs. Based on knowledge and experience in the field, it can take serveral months for new patients to be seen by the larger, institutional clinics. We pride ourselves in offering a similar level of expertise, yet with better accesibility to care.
How much does it cost?
For evaluations, our private fees vary depending on the type and number of hour necessary to address your specific needs. Typically, we are able to provide a discounted price if there is the need for higher level of evaluations necesarry when building a single combined report for a patient. For therapy sessions, the range is typically from $100-$200 per hour.
We do offer a sliding scale rate for certain lower income individuals and families. Based on our knowledge and experience in the field, our prices are significantly lower than most of the larger, institutional clinics and other private practice clinicians.
We accept cash, checks, and major credit cards.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes. We currently accept several major insurances and are working on getting paneled by even more.
If we are out-of-network for your insurance company, we can provide you with a superbill for reimbursement if you have a PPO with out of network benefits.