Autism Testing for Adults

Diagnostic Assessments for
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals across the lifespan, with an estimated prevalence of about 1 in 36 people in the U.S. (CDC, 2020). Autism is characterized by core symptoms including:

  • Difficulties with social communication and interaction
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Sensory issues

The symptoms of autism differ greatly from person to person. An individual with ASD can have more severe symptoms in one area but mild symptoms in another.

Many adults on the spectrum also have other mental health issues or differences such as:

  • Anxiety and OCD
  • ADHD
  • Developmental delays

This variation and overlap in symptoms can make ASD difficult to identify. Our psychologists are experts in diagnosing and working with people on the spectrum. An evaluation is a key first step to understanding and managing your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder?

Social Communication and Interaction Difficulties
► Using and interpreting verbal and nonverbal communication
► Starting or maintaining conversations
► Recognizing social cues or following social rules
► Making and keeping friends
Repetitive Behaviors► Repetitive movements
► Insistence on sameness or routine
► Resistance to change
► Narrow interests or fixations
Sensory Issues► Oversensitivity to lights, sounds, or textures
► Picky eating
► Sensory-seeking behaviors

Research shows that ASD often co-occurs with other disorders, such as anxiety and ADHD, and that there is significant symptom overlap in these and other diagnoses.

How is autism diagnosed and treated?

Autism is a behavioral diagnosis, meaning there is no blood or medical test that can identify someone as being on the spectrum. With our assessment service, we provide Therapy Lab's targeted, science-backed approach in order to offer your family diagnostic clarity, recommendations for next steps, and documentation necessary to move forward.

Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) go undiagnosed or receive a delayed diagnosis due to the misconception that autism only affects children.

What are the benefits of testing for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Understanding autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how its symptoms affect you can provide guidance in securing effective services to develop strengths and address challenges.

Understand yourself better

Why do you do          ? Why is          so challenging for me, when it seems so easy for everyone else?

Autism and its accompanying unique symptoms may be the answer.

Long-term effects

Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD has been linked to later risk for anxiety and mood disorders, as well as behavioral, social, academic, and vocational problems.

Experience greater self-compassion

Knowing more about yourself and the differences in experience you may have from the neurotypical world can lead to more self-acceptance. With further understanding of your identity, we hope you will experience higher levels of self-compassion.

Determine appropriate treatment or support

We will help you determine what may meet your specific needs best: individual therapy, social skills groups, connecting with others on the spectrum, support for daily living skills, etc.

Access accommodations at your job

We know that people on the spectrum often have different strengths and weaknesses in the workplace than their neurotypical coworkers. If you wish to disclose your diagnosis to your boss and/or HR, you may be able to access accommodations that would not otherwise be offered (e.g., quiet workspace, wearing headphones during your work day, accessing written instructions for projects, movement breaks).

What should I expect for my autism evaluation?

Our diagnostic assessments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) consist of three appointments including an in-person visit to our office in downtown Los Angeles, a telehealth interview, and a feedback session. We aim to schedule one appointment per week, which means you should receive results about a month after your first appointment.

The order of appointments is flexible, allowing you to begin the testing process even if your family can’t get to our office in L.A. for a few weeks.

In-Person Observation

Our Comprehensive Evaluation for ASD involves careful, detailed in-person observation of your social and communication skills.

During your appointment at our office, we use a standardized test to measure your behavior in response to a variety of social prompts.

Assessments may include:
► Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2)
► Social Responsiveness Scale, 2nd Edition (SRS-2)
► Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, 3rd Edition (ABAS-3)
► Behavior Assessment System for Children, 3rd edition (BASC-3)
► WASI-II Wechsler Abbreviated Scale Intelligence | 2 Ed

Our Comprehensive Assessment for ASD includes:
► Behavioral evaluation for symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ADOS)
► Interview
► Measure of social skills
► Measure of daily living skills
► Measure of emotional issues to screen for co-occurring problems like anxiety, depression, etc.
► Input from others who know you well

Interview & Questionnaires

We will gather information from you via interview and questionnaires to learn more about your childhood and adolescence, family background, current behaviors, interests, sensory issues, anxiety or mood symptoms, sleep issues, and more.

If you agree, we may also want to contact a family member (parent or caregiver, sibling) for information about your early development. If you have a current romantic relationship or close friendship, we may ask for permission to get their input as well.

Feedback & Comprehensive Report

Your last appointment of the assessment process is the feedback session, during which we review results, including any diagnoses that are warranted, and discuss next steps. If we think you should consider medication management, we will refer you to appropriate medical providers who can help.

A few weeks after your feedback session, we will provide a comprehensive report that includes assessment results, diagnoses, and recommendations.

The recommendations we provide will help guide you if you receive a diagnosis. If you meet the criteria for autism, the report includes a medical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and current functioning level. The report may be shared with other medical or behavioral health professionals.

Clients have used the report and accompanying medical diagnosis to qualify for resources through their local government as well as to seek support at their workplaces.

Detailed Report

A few weeks after your feedback session, we will provide a detailed report that includes assessment results, diagnoses, and recommendations. The recommendations we provide can help guide you if your child receives a diagnosis. If your child meets the diagnostic criteria for autism, the report will include a medical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder with current level of support needed.

You may wish to share your child’s report with other medical or behavioral health professionals, such as psychologists or psychotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. Families have used the report and accompanying medical diagnosis to qualify for treatments such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and to obtain special education services.


We offer comprehensive autism assessments for adults starting at $4,000. The cost of the assessment is determined by your specific needs.

For more information on pricing, contact us.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don't receive an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis?

Regardless of whether you are given a diagnosis of ASD, we are here to offer support and guidance. For most other mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression, we are able to assess and diagnose these through our Comprehensive Assessment for ASD.  If we believe that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity (ADHD) might be a more appropriate (or additional) diagnosis for your child, we can provide clarity through testing for a supplemental fee. And if we think further neuropsychological testing is needed (e.g., for a suspected learning or intellectual disability), we can provide referrals for supplemental testing and collaborate with other providers.

Should you seek treatment related to other mental health concerns, we offer evidence-based therapy in person and via telehealth. You can learn more about our therapy plans here.

Why should I choose an autism-specific evaluation vs. neuropsychological or psycho-educational testing?

There are a number of benefits of choosing ASD-specific evaluation over other types of testing:
► More cost-effective
► Fewer appointments or hours of testing
► Greater focus on autism-specific symptoms
► Resources and recommendations specific to ASD

Our evaluators have extensive experience working with people on the spectrum of all ages and presentations. We have expertise in identifying ASD and co-occurring conditions, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and ADHD. Because there is significant symptom overlap in ASD and other disorders, this expertise is critical for accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment recommendations.

Additionally, neurodiversity among girls, women, and people of color has frequently been overlooked or misdiagnosed. We feel confident in our ability to identify ASD symptoms in these populations, enabling proper diagnosis and appropriate subsequent intervention.

There is no lab test or medical diagnostic that can identify ASD. Research supports reliable diagnosis as early as 18 months of age; we have expertise in identifying very early signs of ASD, leading to earlier treatment and better social-communication outcomes. Additionally, our psychologists are skilled in identifying children and teens with mild symptoms of ASD, whose deficits may be missed due to compensatory behaviors (i.e., “masking”). For some children and teens, weaknesses in communication and social skills may only become noticeable as social demands increase, starting in middle school and beyond. Professionals without training and experience working with neurodiverse populations may miss mild, subtle, or atypical symptoms. Less targeted assessment may not provide detailed investigation necessary to identify subtler, but still interfering and distressing, symptoms of autism.

What is the difference between autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger's Syndrome, and being "on the spectrum"?

Technically in today’s clinical practice, there is not much of a difference between these terms.

In 2013, the criteria used to diagnose autism changed. Before 2013, there were several different disorders under the same diagnostic “umbrella” –  Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome/Asperger’s, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Research suggested that these labels reflected a common set of symptoms of varying quality or severity rather than distinct conditions. As a result, these diagnoses were all combined into Autism Spectrum Disorder. This term is shortened to ASD and/or Autism (capitalized or lowercase “a”), and people diagnosed with ASD may be referred to as being “on the spectrum.” People with the previous diagnoses listed above generally fit the criteria for the newer diagnosis of ASD. Some individuals who meet the criteria for ASD continue to self-identify as having asperger’s syndrome, as they feel the previous criteria is more representative of their characteristics.

Autism or ASD is a social communication disorder at its core but affects other areas of functioning as well. Current diagnostic criteria separates symptoms of ASD into two major domains: Social Communication and Restricted Interests/Repetitive Behaviors.
► The Social Communication domain includes challenges in interacting with others in a back-and-forth way, differences in using and understanding nonverbal behavior like eye contact or gestures, and trouble making and maintaining relationships.
► The Restricted Interests/Repetitive Behaviors domain includes repetitive movements and speech, inflexibility, fixated or intense interests, and sensory issues.

To meet criteria, a person must have symptoms in each area that interfere with their daily living.  When an ASD diagnosis is assigned, the clinician will provide “severity” levels for each of these domains, which signifies how much support the person may need to manage interfering symptoms in those areas. (For the full diagnostic criteria, please refer to the CDC website.)

Have more questions? Contact us.