June 14, 2021

Katie Elish, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist


Published in Primary Staff
May 19, 2021


Information and Research about Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research and Advocacy Groups

The Asperger/Autism Network (aane.org): helps people with autism spectrum and neurodiverse profiles build meaningful, connected lives by providing individuals, families, and professionals with information, education, community, support, and advocacy

Spectrum (Spectrumnews.org): provides news about the latest autism research

Autism Speaks (autismspeaks.org): Helps individuals with autism and families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (autisticadvocacy.org): ASAN works to empower autistic people across the world to take control of their own lives and the future of their common community, and seek to organize the autistic community to ensure their voices are heard in the national conversation about Autism.

Autism Council of Utah (autismcouncilofutah.org): Advocacy group in Utah. Their page outlines several resources for families and professionals. They also link to community events aligned with their mission.

International Society for Autism Research (autism-insar.org): Scientific and professional organization devoted to advancing knowledge about autism. Their website includes past posters and presentations from events outlining the latest research

Organization for Autism Research (researchautism.org): organization founded and led by parents and grandparents of children with autism with a focus on awareness and advocacy

Synapse (autism-help.org): A website with fact sheets complied by mental health professionals about life skills, education, parent support, and resources for adults

SPARK (sparkforautism.org): landmark autism research project connecting researchers with autistic individuals and creating a community for autistic individuals and their families.

Lived Experiences

Hendrickx, S. (2015). Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age

Attwood, T., Grandin, T., et al. (2006). Asperger’s and Girls: World-Renowned Experts Join Those with Asperger’s Syndrome to Resolve Issues That Girls and Women Face Every Day!

Grandin, T. (2013). The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed.

Finding Mikey podcast (https://www.facebook.com/FindingMikeyPodcast/) Describes one family’s journey with autism, sensory processing disorder (SPD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Asperger’s syndrome. They share their experiences as a platform for inspiring others and providing helpful strategies for coping with these disorders. Episodes contain personal accounts and expert advice from doctors, lawyers, advocates, and other influential members of the community.

ASD and Intersectionality

Twainbow (twainbow.org): education and peer support for autistic individuals who also identify as LGBTQA+

Autism Speaks LGBTQ guide: https://www.autismspeaks.org/lgbtq-information-and-resources

AANE information for gender diverse individuals and gender identity support groups https://www.aane.org/topics/adults/lgbtq/

Autism in Black (autisminblack.org): Autism in Black aims to provide support to black parents who have a child on the spectrum, through educational and advocacy services. Also a podcast.

Information for Spanish-speaking families: https://www.autism-society.org/en-espanol/

Indian Health Service: Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives- autism resources https://www.ihs.gov/icp/autism/

Services and Resources for Autistic Individuals and Families

National Resources

The Asperger/Autism Network (aane.org): Provides online support groups for individuals across age ranges, parents of young children and teens, parents of adults and more.

ADDitude -- Focus on ADHD, but also good information on ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders because they often present together.

 Autistic Self Advocacy Network -- ASAN works to empower autistic people across the world to take control of their own lives and the future of their common community, and seek to organize the autistic community to ensure their voices are heard in the national conversation about Autism.

Utah Resources

Namasté Center for Healing - Neurofeedback for Autistic, ADHD Individuals with Sensory Issues, Emotional Dysregulation, and more. Neurofeedback helps to rewire your brain. There is a lot of research that this amazing holistic treatment can reduce depression, anxiety, help with communication and sensory issues.

Autism Council of Utah -- Advocacy group in Utah. Their page outlines several resources for families and professionals. They also link to community events aligned with their mission.

Brigham Young University Autism Connect -- Provides ASD testing, resources for families, and conducts ongoing research. They have a current research participation opportunity for adolescents and women who may be on the spectrum. (https://education.byu.edu/autism/research-opportunity-for-girls-and-women)

University of Utah Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic -- Provide ASD assessment, social skill and recreational groups for kids, individual/family therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Behavior intervention, school consultations, Early Intervention, research participation, and parent training

Spectrum Academy -- Spectrum Academy is the premier charter school in Utah for students with high functioning autism and others who would benefit from our unique learning environment. They provide small class sizes, with individualized instruction and innovative social skills curriculum. They help students reach their fullest potential academically, socially, and emotionally, leading to productive and successful futures.

Scenic View Academy -- A non-profit school in Provo for people with Autism

Matt’s Place -- Matt’s Place is a non-profit center focused on helping families and individuals with social and behavioral struggles, and those on the Autism Spectrum.

The Adult Autism Center (adultautismcenter.org): Gives resources for socialization, recreation, development, and involvement. Provides supports for daily living skills and vocational training.

Utah Parent Center (https://utahparentcenter.org/): Special education and advocacy service that provides information on how to access services for individuals with disabilities and can help families navigate the school system

Books & Media

Overcoming Autism: Finding Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child’s Life, by Lynn Kern Koegel and Claire LaZebnik

A Parent's Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive, Edition 2 by Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson, and James McPartland

Understanding Autism in Adults and Aging Adults: Improving Diagnosis and Quality of Life by Theresa Rega

Simone, R. (2010). Aspergirls: Empowering Females With Asperger Syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley.

The Autism Show podcast: http://autismshow.org/

Autism Quality of Life podcast: https://www.autismqualityoflife.com/

Girls Growing Up on The Spectrum: What Parents and Professionals Should Know About the Pre-Teen and Teenage Years by Shana Nichols

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

UCEBT's Assessment and Testing Program Director, Laura Rowley, Ph.D.recently presented this lecture on Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Strategies to Support Inclusivity. This presentation discusses ADHD and Autism, the strengths and barriers of each in the workplace, and how to facilitate enhanced inclusion and communication.

Resources & Trainings for Professionals

Sunfield Center for Autism, ADHD, and Behavioral Health -- Provides online workshops on ASD assessment tools like the ADOS-2 and ADI-R, as well as trainings on topics related to intervention, such as ASD and sexuality, and supporting adolescents with ASD transition to adulthood.

Vanderbilt Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders -- Provides online workshops on ASD assessment tools like the ADOS-2, as well as trainings/resources for educators, community professionals, and pediatric care providers. They have a series dedicated to delivering services via telemedicine for parents, educators, and clinical professionals (https://vkc.vumc.org/vkc/triad/covid19/)

Autistic Self Advocacy Network -- Engage with autistic voices to be effective allies.

International Society for Autism Research (autism-insar.org): Scientific and professional organization devoted to advancing knowledge about autism

ADDitude Provides free online webinars on topics related to ASD and neurodivergence. Professionals can register to attend live or receive links to the presentations.

Autisminblack.org for information on autism in black communities and the intersection of autism and culture. Opportunities for professional talks.

Recent Q&A from one of our psychologists

This is the full presentation from Dr. Laura Rowley regarding the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Published in Resources

Friday, June 11, 2021

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. MST

1.5 CE hour (UPA & NASW-UT) 

Register* here: https://form.jotform.com/211016371639148

*If you cannot attend the live event, you can still receive the video recording, presentation slides, and CE credit so long as you register beforehand.

About the presentation:

With Utah having one of the highest rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States, the community relies on clinicians to provide early identification and intervention for this pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder. Although the last several decades have witnessed an increase in awareness and support for individuals on the spectrum and their families, many people with ASD are not receiving diagnoses and subsequent services until they are older children, adolescents, or even adults.

As research continues to grow, the field is discovering complexities that alter our recognition and understanding of ASD. This presentation will discuss demographic characteristics impacting identification, such as the “female autism phenotype,” autism in racial and ethnic minorities, and the intersection of ASD and LGBTQA+ identities. Furthermore, this talk will present evidence-based guidelines for differential diagnosis and present specific disorders that mimic or mask underlying ASD, including ADHD, OCD, and personality disorders.

Following the hour-long presentation, there will be a 30-minute Question and Answer period.

About the presenter:

Laura Rowley, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist. Laura obtained her doctorate from Wayne State University. She completed her APA-accredited internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Primary Children’s Hospital. Laura is currently the Program Coordinator for the Assessment and Testing Team and Utah Center for Evidence Based Treatment, where she provides testing services for children and adults.

Published in News and Updates
April 19, 2021

Autism Evaluations

In addition to our other assessment and testing services, UCEBT offers assessments examining Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for individuals age 6 through adulthood.

This may be a component of a psychoeducational evaluation if you suspect your child has ASD and that it may be impacting academic functioning. However, not all individuals with ASD struggle academically, and ASD is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts more areas in life than academics. Furthermore, many adults may have questions about whether they have had undiagnosed ASD, which can be common for some high-functioning presentations.

Autism evaluations examine whether an individual meets criteria for ASD using evidence-based procedures, and also examines common rule-outs/co-occurring disorders such as ADHD, social anxiety, and/or OCD. Academic achievement measures may or may not be included, depending on individual needs. 

Get started with a free 15-minute consultation >

Our autism testing is not exclusively for children.

ADHD and ASD can be diagnosed in adulthood. Many adults may be experiencing chronic difficulties with meeting job expectations, organizing tasks, completing household chores, engaging in daily living activities, remembering obligations, and forming/maintaining healthy relationships. Often adult clients come to us with prior diagnoses of mood, anxiety, or personality problems, and are frustrated that previous treatments have been unsuccessful in helping them meet their goals.

Through assessment, we can determine whether there may be evidence for a missed ADHD or Autism diagnosis that accounts for pervasive lifelong problems.

We use evidence-based methodologies to examine relevant cognitive processes, behaviors, and social/emotional symptoms tailored to how neurodevelopmental disorders present in adults. However, it is also important to note that criteria for ADHD and ASD state that symptoms need to be present in childhood, even if they were mild and perhaps not as apparent until the demands of the environment exceeded individual capacities. Therefore, we also require parent/caregiver interviews, previous testing, and/or school records from childhood as part of the evaluation for adults.

We have several ways to ensure our clients are receiving the highest quality assessment and testing experience.

Autism Evaluations at UCEBT are led by our Assessment & Testing Program Director, Laura Rowley, PhD.

Our team of clinicians assesses a wide range of referral questions and keeps a consistent flow to keep our skills sharp. To build on our skills, we consult with each other -- no one conceptualizes alone, making sure everything is grounded in data and that we’re not relying too heavily on one person’s clinical judgment.

We’re lucky to be a diverse group of clinicians regarding our backgrounds and specialty areas of testing. In addition, we seek consultation from clinicians in the community, research new testing measures, and find developing evidence-based methods for assessing specific populations. It is important to us that we stay up to date with research and the collective wisdom of the profession.   

Using the "gold standard" of autism assessments.

We use the latest in evaluation measurements, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) to assess and aid in autism diagnosis. Often to access services (e.g. speech, occupational therapy, ABA), insurance companies require the use on an ADOS-2 for diagnosis. The ADOS-2 is one component of a comprehensive evaluation. Our clinicians use a variety of measures and obtain sources of information from different settings to provide evidence-based psychological assessment.

Stay at UCEBT for treatment or receive treatment elsewhere. 

Testing is a standalone service offered at UCEBT. However, if you are interested in seeking therapy services, we can refer you to the appropriate treatment team. You would not have to complete an initial intake and would be placed at the top of the list to be scheduled with an available clinician that is trained and experienced in the best evidence-based treatment for you. 

Potential treatment options include:

  • Parent Coaching or Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) to manage child behaviors and improve co-parenting communication.
  • Couples Therapy or Family Therapy to foster relationships for individuals on the spectrum and their families.  
  • Treatments on the Anxiety and Mood and Trauma, Stress, and Resilience Programs support common co-occurring disorders for autistic individuals. 
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program can support skills in emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness and decrease problem behaviors.

Our pricing for expert clinical evaluations of ASD.

Testing is billed per hour of service that the clinician provides. While the cost of testing may seem high, our licensed clinicians have over 10 years of education and training.  Their expertise and experience are important factors in receiving the clearest diagnosis and most useful recommendations for you.

In order to maintain excellent quality care that is based on client need rather than coverage, our center requires direct pay. We can provide you a receipt of services with diagnoses and billing codes if you would like to seek reimbursement from your insurance. Note that most insurances do not cover academic testing. 

Licensed Clinician: $190 per hour
Postdoctoral Fellow: $170 per hour*
Advanced Doctoral Student: $135 per hour*

After the initial intake session, the clinician will estimate the hours needed for services. 

Estimated average range is 12 - 16 hours. ($1,440  -- $2,720 depending on hours and evaluator).  Note: These estimates include cognitive and academic testing.

*When available. Postdoctoral Fellows and Advanced Doctoral Students are closely supervised by Licensed Clinicians and have had years of training and experience.

Get started with autism testing and evaluation today.

To get started, simply complete this online questionnaire and our front desk will contact you to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.

If you still have questions or are interested in learning more about pricing and insurance, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions of our Assessment & Testing Center page.

Learn more about autism from UCEBT's autism specialist in this Q&A video:

Published in General