Autism Assessment and Diagnostic Testing

From autism diagnosis to empowering, life-changing therapy.

A diagnosis is not the end; it’s the beginning! It’s the first step in acknowledging and understanding how your child’s mind works and giving him or her the resources needed to succeed.

Research supports the value of obtaining an autism evaluation and beginning treatment as early as possible. We provide an intensive learning intervention during a time when brain development rates are high. This pairing builds a strong brain foundation for learning and behavior that will follow through all of life. While all children should be monitored for symptoms of autism, it takes a series of scientifically-based, standardized assessment tools administered by a trained professional to make a diagnosis.

How does it work?

1

Schedule your appointment

Call our Client Intake Team (877-943-8222) to determine eligibility and prepare a time for your child to take the test.
2

Testing Time

The evaluation will include a parent interview using the M-CHAT tool and scheduled testing with the child using assessments such as the ADOS, CARS etc.
3

Results

Your family will receive testing results typically within 1-2 weeks following your scheduled testing. From there, our Client Intake Team can help you with next steps!

ABA Services

Bierman’s ABA therapy services can help your child improve behaviors, learn new skills, and reach new goals.

We use naturalistic teaching to teach through play. We understand that children are always right – and if they are not learning, we adapt to them. We ensure children are progressing and developing skills through our proprietary data measurement system. We seek to create lifelong learners and long-term success.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the study and analysis of behavior as it relates to the natural environment. Utilizing this evidence-based, best practice standard, 1:1 programs are developed to decrease challenging behaviors and increase socially significant skills. To maximize outcomes, each child’s ABA therapy programs are individually designed and utilize data-based decisions to ensure individualized learning.

ABA Services Questions

How can ABA Therapy help my child?

  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Peer and family interaction
  • Appropriate play and leisure skills
  • Feeding therapy and eating skills
  • Life skills
  • Transitions to school
  • Natural environment training
  • Potty training
  • Fine motor and gross motor skills
  • Academic skills

Is center-based therapy the best fit for my family?

Research defines quality ABA programming as 1:1 services implemented 30-40 hours per week. It is shown that quality programming is best obtained via a center-based ABA model. Center-based services have been shown to have significantly higher staff supervision and training, higher rates of exposure to peers, a higher guarantee of a full-time schedule, and an overall much higher caregiver satisfaction. Your child will benefit from our engaging and motivating staff.

What is naturalistic teaching?

Naturalistic teaching takes the play activities children love such as racing scooters, building blocks, or going on a pretend bug hunt, into learning opportunities. Naturalistic teaching fills every minute of the child’s day with learning through observation and imitation within play. Consequences are embedded naturally as children sing, color, and bear-crawl through their day. At Bierman, we let kids be kids.

Our Experts

Having your child tested for autism at Bierman Autism Centers leads to more comprehensive, accessible, coordinated and child-centered treatment. When your child receives evaluation for diagnosis at Bierman, information from the diagnostic report is shared with your child’s behavior analyst to create a unique treatment plan. Bierman provides the unique opportunity to connect diagnosis and treatment, creating a comprehensive care plan that coordinates your child’s needs across a complex healthcare system.

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Jennifer Horn, PhD, HSPP

Dr. Jennifer Horn is a licensed clinical psychologist, who works exclusively with children/adolescents and their families. Her clinical child psychology doctorate is from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and she have been providing comprehensive evaluations and treatment in Indiana for over 25 years. She finds great enjoyment in working with children/teens and their families that are facing a variety of learning, behavioral, and emotional issues. Her special interests and expertise are with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disorders, and anxiety disorders.

She is committed to helping children reach their fullest potential. Her mission is to support families in their efforts to improve their child’s well-being, as well as to assist the child in improving their overall functioning at school, at home, and with their peers. To reach this goal, she utilizes testing when necessary to define diagnostic issues and treatment planning. She also works closely and cooperatively with community service providers such as schools and physicians/medical providers.

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Sam Meints PhD HSP

Dr. Samantha Meints, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Boston, MA. Samantha is originally from Indiana where she earned her undergraduate degree from Butler University and her MS and PhD from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Prior to starting graduate school, Samantha was a behavior technician at Bierman. She has rejoined the team here in Boston and will be providing mental health services to support our parents and families. She will provide individual, group, and family therapy for parents and siblings of our kiddos. These services will be tailored to meet the needs of our families and will broadly focus on helping parents cope with their child’s diagnosis and improve the quality of life for their families. Samantha will also be providing diagnostic assessments in New England. In addition to her work at Bierman, Samantha conducts research and sees patients with chronic pain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is an adjunct professor of psychology at Suffolk University. In her free time, Samantha enjoys playing and coaching softball, watching sports, and traveling.

Speech Therapy

Enhance your kid’s world with words.

Children diagnosed with autism often experience difficulty using words or understanding and interacting with others. This is a sign of a speech or language disorder — conditions our trained speech-language pathologists can help your child overcome with a personalized treatment plan. Integrating Speech Therapy into our ABA therapy programs allows children to practice language in a naturally occurring setting that can easily be translated to a child’s natural environment such as a home or school setting. We utilize Speech Therapy as part of our programs to target verbal, nonverbal, and social communication skills.

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Occupational Therapy

Empower your child to do life on their terms.

Within our centers, we serve many children that face difficulty effectively receiving, processing, and responding to sensory information. Occupational Therapy can help children strengthen skills that are needed in everyday life and can help target skills related to play, school preparation, self-esteem, and daily living.

What is Occupational Therapy?

The goals of Occupational Therapists are to:

  • Improve and enhance the quality of life for individuals and families
  • To introduce, maintain, and improve skills so individuals can be as independent as possible
  • Produce meaningful participation in activities
  • Improve success in all aspects of life through teaching, practice, and modification of skills

Use hands on developmental activities and/or adaptive strategies to improve learning and environment to address the following skills:

  • Fine motor skills (handwriting skills)
  • Gross Motor skills (navigating play structures)
  • ADL (management of fasteners of clothing)
  • Play skills (appropriate use of toys)
  • Sensory (assistance in regulating over/under sensitivity)
  • Social emotional development and self regulation (identifying emotions and using self calming strategies)
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