If you’ve begun your journey to receive an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, or other pediatric behavioral diagnosis, you may have come across other parents, teachers, and caregivers who have warned you of the dreaded waitlist process. Autism waitlists are currently a universal barrier to medical diagnoses and effect families living in both rural and urban areas.
Surprisingly, and very unfortunately, a challenging part of the diagnostic evaluation process can simply involve getting an appointment on the calendar! While there are a great number of children in need of this service, organizations that provide evaluations to assess for Autism Spectrum Disorder are few and far between. As a result, families are placed on waitlists that can be up to one year in length just for an initial intake appointment!
Families then have to wait for months at a time, once again, for the actual evaluation appointment to occur. Afterwards, they await to receive feedback and an assessment report from the provider. Essentially the child is waiting an extensive amount of time for diagnostic clarity and, ultimately, intervention services.
Luckily, New Beginnings, a new program of Verbal Beginnings, is helping to fill this gap and provide diagnostic services to children in the area. By creating diagnostic services at our center in Columbia MD, we hope to decrease family wait time and thus, help families obtain the diagnostic clarity that is necessary to initiate intervention services for their children.
When families are scheduled for an appointment with Verbal Beginnings, they partake in a comprehensive evaluation which includes the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition. After the evaluation, families receive a comprehensive evaluation report and review results, clinical impressions, and recommendations for intervention services with our licensed psychologist, Dr. Allison Maletsky.
Early intervention programs can be key to the success of children with behavioral disorders, and the months spent on waitlists interfere with access to these services. Most insurances require a medical diagnosis before coverage of therapy can begin. Our hope is that minimizing the time involved in the assessment process results in earlier engagement in intervention for the children we serve and leads to improved long-term outcomes.
Gain the tools to advocate for your child, and fill out our intake form to receive diagnostic services with Verbal Beginnings!