Adult Autism Assessment:

Have you ever wondered if you have Autism? Have you struggled with:

  • Your social experiences?
  • Executive functioning and mental health?
  • Making eye contact?
  • Feeling different from others?
  • Fitting in with others and peers?
  • Engaging in back-and-forth conversations?
  • Changes, routines, and transitions?
  • Sensitivity to sound, texture and other stimuli?
  • Intense, specific interests?
  • Showing interest when interacting with others?
  • What to do and what to say in social situations?
  • Connecting with others?
  • Expressing and/or understanding emotions?
  • Interpersonal and vocational relationships?

If the answer is yes to many or most of these questions, an Autism assessment may be useful to understand your social- communication and emotional functioning. Seeking an Autism evaluation, can be important in improving the quality of your life and seeking understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions about Autism assessments at the Talk and Thrive:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that presents differently in different people, caused by differences in the structure and chemical balances of the brain.

In adults, the journey to seek an assessment for Autism may be due to various reasons. For example, missed childhood symptoms , lack of access to early-on assessment services, or misdiagnosis of other mental health issues, affecting many aspects of an individual’s life such as interpersonal, social, vocational and family life for years. Adults with ASD may have different ways of learning, interacting, or paying attention with variations of presentation noted among gender.

Diagnosing Autism in adults is a complicated process.  Therefore, no two adults with Autism will have the same presentation, and their symptoms may vary. Notably, some symptoms that may mimick Autism-like traits, may not warrant a diagnosis. Therefore, an Autism assessment has to be comprehensive, and requires expertise and extensive knowledge/training. Autism cannot be diagnosed with one screener tool or a short, online test.

Although Autism has been vastly known as a childhood disorder, based on our experience, we believe that there are many adult individuals who have completely missed the screening for ASD assessments, 15 to 40 years ago. This may be because of many different reasons (e.g., high cognitive skills, gender masking behaviours, other mental health issues, lack of access to mental health services, mental health stigma, etc), leaving them feel different, confused, and out of place in the world.

We consider many contextual factors and approach our assessments from a BioPsychoSocial Framework. Our assessments are completed on a timely manner within a reasonable timeline, removing some of the barriers to seeking support such as long waitlists. 

Keeping in mind the unique presentations of males, females, queer community and adults with Autism, the assessment process conducted by our experienced and trained psychologists and psychological associates includes 5 major components: 

  • Behavioural Observation: The first part is a structured observation called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). It is an interactive discussion and diagnosticians get to observe how the individual behaves in social situations (virtual or in person is optional).  
  • Developmental History (optional): The Developmental History Intake allows the clinicians talk to a parent, a sibling, a spouse or a relative to gather information about the person’s history. They may also try to gather other records such as school report cards, videos, journals etc. The clinician may ask more follow up questions about early history, and what is happening to them now in the workplace or at school.
  • Diagnostic Interviews: Through Structured Clinical Interviewing, the clinician will ask semi-structured questions to ensure that other potential and co-occurring DSM-5 diagnoses are systematically evaluated (e.g., ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Trauma, Substance Use, etc). 
  • The Fourth component is administration of a series of normed/standardized questionnaires to the client and an informant (if available). 
  • Vocational History Intake: The clinicians gather data about the timeline of client’s academic or vocational history. Clinicians are looking to see the strengths and challenges the client has in the workplace. 
  • Computerized Cognitive Testing (virtual or in person) is optional to learn more about cognitive and executive functions challenges (organization, planning, working memory, and other skills that facilitate goal-directed behaviours).

We acknowledge that the process of a psychological assessment may be a frustrating and overwhelming one. From a practical point of view, if an Autism diagnosis is provided, you may have access to the following services: 

  • Disability Tax Credit or PWD
  • Recommendation for appropriate treatment to address ASD symptoms or other co-occurring symptoms. 
  • Social skills groups and strategies
  • Access to government funded services

In our experience, many individuals seek Autism assessments for personal knowledge, validation, and or understanding. IF an individual who has been struggling for many years, receives an Autism diagnosis following the assessment, that diagnostic confirmation by an experienced clinician may bring relief and allow for space to move forward by putting challenges into perspective. The diagnosis can be an anchor that helps individuals move forward in life. Notably, a diagnosis of Autism is not guaranteed as the assessment process is standardized and objective. 

Our fee for an Autism assessment is $4000 to $4500 (range depends on complexity). Our services are covered by most private insurance companies.

At this time, assessments may be completed virtually, with an option for in-person appointment. Our clinicians are licensed to see people in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia Provinces only. Therefore, you must be residing in these provinces. 

A doctor’s referral is not required. You may contact us directly to book an appointment. 

Please fill out our Intake Form and send it for us via Securedocs. Once we have this form, our team will call you to set up an appointment.

Instructions on how to upload the intake form: 

There are two ways to upload documents and folders securely on Securedocs

  1. Documents and folders can be uploaded by drag and drop.
  • * Locate the location of a document or folder on your computer and drag it into the central portion of the ‘Documents’ tab. A green box will appear around the proper location to drop the documents.
  • * Please send the intake document via Securedocs to [email protected]
  1. Documents and folders can be uploaded by using the blue ‘Upload’ button in the Documents tab.
  • * Click the button for ‘Upload,’ choose to upload either a document or a folder, and the system should open a window to your computer where you can select a document/folder.
  • * Please send the intake document via Securedocs to [email protected]

Please note that email is not a secured way to send documents and we do not advise confidential information to be exchanged via email. 

For any questions, email us at [email protected] or call 416-454-6646.