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About the Autism Diagnostic Evaluation Process

First, contact us

If you, your child's physician, or educators working with your child believe your child may benefit from an autism diagnostic evaluation at the UGA School Psychology Clinic, first contact the clinic and speak with the clinic coordinator. The clinic coordinator is available to answer questions, explain the process, discuss the referring concern, and make appointments.

You and your child will attend an initial intake appointment (1-2 hours) and a testing appointment (approximately 4 hours). We will conduct a feedback session about two weeks after the evaluation where we share the results of the evaluation along with any diagnoses. A major component of the feedback session and the report to be provided to you will be a set of recommendations to help address challenges your child is experiencing. The official report will be mailed to you after the feedback session. The evaluation process differs depending on the specific child so occasionally will change as our team learns more about the client throughout the assessment

Appointments typically are scheduled on Wednesday mornings.

Typical Assessment Battery

  • Parent interview
  • An IQ test specifically designed for children/teens to measure general cognitive abilities
  • Direct Observation: Diagnostic structured play based observation of child's social communication and social interaction skills (typically including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule or ADOS)
  • Measures of adaptive functioning
  • Social-emotional and behavioral screeners
  • Other autism symptom measures

Leading up to your appointment

After you have made an appointment, we will send you a packet of information with a confirmation of the appointment, information about the evaluation and payment options, directions to our clinic, and a parking pass. Rating scales for parents and teachers to complete may be sent via traditional mail.

The full assessment process costs $1000. Unfortunately, our clinic does not take insurance but we do operate on a sliding scale for autism diagnostic assessments, which we will evaluate on a case by case basis.

Contact Us

For more information about the School Psychology Clinic, our services, or to make an appointment, call 706-542-4265.

Our Clinicians

J. Elizabeth Edmonds (Betsy)

Betsy is an adjunct professor who supervises graduate students in the school psychology clinic. She earned her doctoral degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in pediatric neuropsychology from the University of Georgia. Following licensure, Edmonds worked in private practice for 10 years, conducting psychoeducational and neuropsychological evaluations and specializing in behavioral interventions (parent child interaction therapy) for young children.

Portrait of Ashley Harrison

Ashley Harrison

Ashley graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in clinical psychology. Harrison was trained in behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapies and specializes in child-focused assessment and treatment. More specifically, she has extensive experience conducting ASD diagnostic evaluations using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule.

Michele Lease

Michele is a licensed psychologist and professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. She obtained her PhD from the University of Illinois in Clinical Psychology in 1995 and the teaches doctoral courses in developmental psychopathology and social-emotional assessment, in addition to supervising doctoral students in the clinic.

Portrait of Chitra Pidaparti

Chitra Pidaparti

Chitra obtained her doctorate in educational psychology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2000. She is a licensed psychologist and has extensive training and expertise in diagnostic assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept insurance?

No, unfortunately we do not have the ability to accept insurance. We accept payment via check, credit card, or cash. You can pay online prior to your appointment or with our accountant the morning of the appointment.

How much does an evaluation cost?

We charge a flat fee of $1,300 for each full psychoeducational evaluation.

Will my child's school accept your results?

Typically, both private and public schools accept our results and use our reports in educational planning. However, every school/district is different and we cannot guarantee that the school will follow through on all of our recommendations or any diagnoses that we make. Should you have any difficulties or the school as for additional measures, we will do our best to assist you in addressing the school's needs.

Why does it take an entire day to complete the evaluation?

Our evaluations are very comprehensive and thus take a substantial amount of time. We often try and complete the evaluation in one full day for the convenience of our clients. However, for younger children we will often split the evaluation into two days. Local families not concerned with traveling to Athens may have this option as well. Scheduling will depend on the individual case and your clinician's availability.

I think my child just has a learning disability in reading. Why can't you just give them assessments of reading? Why do they need to have all these other tests?

To make sound diagnostic decisions it is necessary to rule out all possible explanations for the presenting problem. In order to prove that a learning disability exists, we have to establish your child's level of functioning in other academic areas, as well as cognitive processes. In all of our evaluations, we aim to be as thorough as possible.