Why we’re providing this service:
Over the years, from around the globe, we have received numerous information requests for low-cost autism assessments. Additionally, we have heard from many women, gender non-conforming, and non-binary/genderqueer/trans folx of the barrier of finding an assessor who is trained in gender presentation differences in autism. We have unfortunately also heard about the discrimination adults have faced because of ageism, systemic racism, xenophobia, being houseless, and an overall misunderstanding of Autistic adults.
Our aim is to remove these upsetting experiences and create a neurodivergent-affirming autism assessment process. So, after input from Autistic individuals, we are delighted to collaborate with qualified and trained Autistic and Neurodivergent providers to offer affordable, respectful autism diagnostic services to Autistics nationally and internationally through secure tele-health sessions.
Research associated with this service:
To accompany this new service, we launched a corresponding Autism Assessment Satisfaction Questionnaire, to formally research the assessment experiences of Autistic adults and how it affected their quality of life. The purpose of this questionnaire is to ask for Autistic adults’ opinions about their personal experiences with non-partnered GRASP providers, the assessment process and questions.
The goal is to utilize their insights to build a better, neuro-affirming autism assessment process and to provide training to clinicians that is informed by these experiences. To participate in the survey please click on the title above or here, https://forms.gle/QrDfhSfX3Muw9iEt6
Furthermore, we are conducting coinciding research with the Autistic adults who go through GRASP’s Autism Assessment service. We are requesting, but not requiring, Autistic adults who participate in GRASP’s autism assessment services to complete an exit questionnaire. Our goal is to continue to hone the process and provide better insights for our future trainings of autism assessment providers and clinicians.
How the process works:
To ensure the process is considerate of your needs, the assessment is scheduled in several sessions: initial consultation, diagnostic testing, and follow-up discussion of the report findings. During your initial consultation session the provider will go over in detail what to expect during the process and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Breaks are automatically built into the testing day with the aim of making the process more comfortable. Each session is expected to last between 60 to 90 minutes. If you have questions after a session or about a test, please be sure to email us as soon as possible. During the final session, the provider will discuss the report of their findings and offer referrals to applicable community resources.
How we make it affordable:
The cost for the full assessment process is $750; this includes the deposit, all of the sessions, any testing, and a report of the provider’s findings. A payment plan is built into the process, as a third of the total cost is only required to be paid before each session. We also offer financial assistance; read below in the FAQs for assistance requirements. A non-refundable deposit of $250 (or the agreed-upon amount) is required to hold your assessment spot.
Payment for the assessment is considered a donation and is tax-deductible; GRASP will provide a tax-deductible donation letter with your report. If you are able to afford to pay more for your assessment, please do so. By donating beyond the usual amount will be able to provide more low and no-cost assessments to future community members accessing this service.
Have questions or concerns?
Please scroll to past this section for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQS), including what is required for financial assistance, confidentiality and disclosure concerns, participating in GRASP’s post-assessment research, other diagnoses, what ages we assess, helping out a partner, friend, or child, etc.
If you cannot find an answer to your questions, want to know when we’re scheduling sessions, or you have an unaddressed concern, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow us to address any questions, concerns, or financial assistance requests before completing the next step.
The next step:
Please reach out to us via our contact us page; be sure to add email@example.com to your email addresses to be sure to receive our response. We will be in touch with the next steps as soon as possible. If you need accessibility support with any of these steps, please reach out to us through our contact page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is required for financial assistance?
In most instances, the first two pages of your 2020 or most recent tax return. Additionally, if you receive social security, unemployment, or EBT/SNAP then we will need a letter of determination or proof of payments. Alternatively, you may provide a bank statement or check stubs showing the above-mentioned payments. If you do not file taxes or are ineligible for state or federal support services, then you may provide a letter from a friend or a relative explaining your financial situation.
If you are requesting financial assistance from another country, not including Canada, then we can discuss different ways to show your financial assistance eligibility. While we use secure email servers, we suggest everyone censor sensitive information like you social security/insurance number, bank account numbers, and your birthday.
We determine financial assistance eligibility based on the poverty level in your state/province and your personal circumstances, which may not be reflected in your financial documents. The total amount one pays can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. We make every effort to identify an amount that you feel comfortable paying.
Can I contact you on behalf of another adult (18+) who is Autistic and needs an autism assessment?
We are firm believers in the rights of Autistic adults to express their self-determination and, when needed, utilize supported decision making. If you are offering assistance to: your child who is age 18+, a spouse/significant other, a relative, or a friend, please be sure you have their consent to contact us on their behalf.
They will need to participate in a preliminary email exchange before accessing services, so please be sure to cc them on all emails to us. If they are not cc’ed, then a phone or Zoom call (without your presence) will be required to ensure they are consenting to this service. If they do not consent to participate, then we will deny your request for an assessment.
Can I use my health insurance?
We are currently unable to accept health insurance, and while you may use health savings account (HSA) funds we are unable to process that donation payment. If you choose to use HSA funds, we suggest getting a letter of need from your primary care doctor to document the use of the funds.
Is this an official diagnosis and what is included in the report?
Yes, we partner with psychological associates who provide the diagnosis and a report of their findings. The report contains a summary of one’s psycho-social history, self-report assessment and IQ results, diagnostic codes, community referrals, a one page list of workplace or school accommodations, and a tax donation letter. Reports may be written in your chosen or legal name.
What is your HIPAA/HITECH/Ominbus policy?
We make every effort to keep your contact, medical, and diagnosis information confidential and private by using secure email and information servers, and limiting the number of people who access the information. We will not share your contact, medical, and diagnosis information without your written and, if applicable, verbal permission. If we do have a security breach or incident we will notify you as soon as possible. If you would like your digital information removed once your assessment is completed, please send us an email making the request. We delete all of your digital information, except for contact information, one year after your assessment. We retain a secure paper copy of your assessment file unless you indicate otherwise.
Does anyone else know about or can access my diagnosis?
You are in control of disclosing your diagnosis. We will never disclose your diagnosis without written and verbal confirmation from you that you want your diagnosis shared. No outside doctors, insurance companies, agencies, organizations, or people will know you are diagnosed unless you decide to share it with them.
Can this diagnosis be used in the United States for social security disability, state services, and workplace, or school accommodations?
For federal disability and state disability services, most states require a psychologist licensed in one’s state to conduct an assessment and provide a report. We recognize the cost of community-based autism assessments are only sometimes covered by health insurance and therefore carry a high out-of-pocket expense. We are working to expand our network of providers to be able to offer this. At this time, we recommend finding someone in your state or country, with which we are happy to assist in locating one.
For workplace accommodations, this assessment and report are standard. However, we highly suggest reaching out to one’s Human Resources department for the specifics of what they require. For school accommodations, we highly suggest reaching out to the school’s Disability Office and asking what the requirements are for accommodations. As always, feel free to contact us to discuss your specific needs. We make every effort to follow report guidelines for workplace and school accommodations, however, we do not guarantee that this report may be appropriate in every circumstance.
Can this diagnosis be used in other countries to access services and resources?
It greatly depends on your country’s disability resources and requirements for accessing services. Contact us to discuss your location and specific needs, and we will help search for information in your country.
Do I have to participate in the research studies GRASP is conducting?
No, participation is completely voluntary. However, do know, we are compensating people for their time and are grateful for your support.
Do you provide additional assessments for ADHD, depression, or anxiety?
We will soon be announcing the option to be assessed for ADHD and an additional sensory processing measure, which is helpful for work or driving concerns, beginning with our sessions scheduled in September 2021!
How will the assessment sessions go and will my family members/former caregiver(s) need to be involved?
You will need a laptop, desktop computer, or mobile phone with a secure internet connection in a quiet space. We will meet over Zoom, which is a secure and HIPAA compliant platform. Zoom is free to use and utilizes video and audio. Your webcam and microphone will need to be enabled for the sessions, however non-speaking clients may communicate by solely typing or using AAC.
The total amount of sessions may vary, however, most will complete the process within 3, 90 minute sessions. If one needs additional time to complete testing, then the assessment provider may send the test back with you to complete. The testing is completed within 5-6 weeks, with one receiving their report and a discussion of the provider’s findings in the final session.
Per family or caregiver involvement, we designed the pre-assessment and assessment process to rely on self-report. In rare occasions when one doesn’t have access to school or medical records, is unable to recall stories from their youth (as it relates to autism), or does not know if they had developmental delays, the provider may ask if you have a family member or caregiver who can provide additional information.
What ages do you assess?
Ages 18 years and older. At this time, we are not expecting to offer assessments to minors.
Are deposits to hold my session spot refundable?
Deposits are non-refundable donations. As these session spots are in high demand, we want to ensure the spot being held will be used. If for some reason you are unable to keep your scheduled session time, we will make every attempt to reschedule it at a time which works for you and the assessment provider. If you do not attend your scheduled session without contacting us, your deposit will be forfeit, however, you will receive a tax donation letter acknowledging your contribution.