Southeastern Therapy Services
SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES - PEDIATRIC THROUGH GERIATRIC
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Cynthia Marks, M.S. CCC-SLP & Associates
The Role of STS in Diagnosing and Treating Autism
3139 Eliza Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
850-727-7928 ph | 850-727-7931 fax
mail@webslp.com
One of the most common questions we are asked is, "Can you diagnose autism?"  The short answer: Yes, in many cases we can.  It is a primary goal of STS that children and caregivers have an option that reduces the substantial delays and hardships that are so often experienced in the process of affirming or ruling out the presence of autism.  STS has the comprehensive resources and skilled professionals who are qualified to administer the diagnostic protocols needed to establish or rule out autism.  Quite often, the speech language pathologist has been working closely with the child for an extended period of time, which leads the therapist to be uniquely qualified to present findings that can be substantiated through direct, objective experiences with the child. 
 
It is the position of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association that "speech-language pathologists who acquire and maintain the necessary knowledge and skills can diagnose ASD, typically as part of a diagnostic team or in other multidisciplinary collaborations, and the process of diagnosis should include appropriate referrals to rule out other conditions and facilitate access to comprehensive services." (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2006). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders across the life span [Position Statement]. Available from www.asha.org/policy).
 
In some cases, an appropriate diagnosis requires input from additional disciplines, such as a psychologist.  In these cases, a collaborative approach that includes organized, open communication across disciplines is essential.  When multiple disciplines are consulted, it is important that there is communication and positive collaboration between the professionals taking part in the process to maintain the integrity of the findings. 
 
It is important to understand the requirements of your individual insurance carrier if you wish to seek payment for services.  Some require that a child undergo evaluations by specific professionals, such as a psychologist, and other measures be taken before the insurance provider will accept the diagnosis and approve payment.
 
The therapy team at Southeastern Therapy Services provides the skilled, individualized intervention required to maximize a client's potential for social-pragmatic and communicative competency.  Our team of talented therapists has a comprehensive library of resources second to none, which enables our therapists to engage clients in the precise intervention activities needed to yield the most positive outcomes possible.
 
If you have any questions about the services we provided in the diagnosis and/or treatment of Autism, please do not hesitate to contact STS by phone or email: mail@webslp.com.