Families awaiting an evaluation for autism spectrum disorder now have a new option for care. Axis for Autism, an Arizona-based provider of ASD evaluations for children and adults, has launched a new model that streamlines diagnosis and cuts wait times, ensuring families can access life-changing intervention and therapies faster.
Waitlists at Arizona health systems are thousands of children deep. Indeed, many families wait a year or more to connect with a provider who has the necessary expertise to perform this evaluation and make a formal diagnosis. This is problematic, as it delays access to interventions that improve short- and long-term outcomes for kids with ASD.
“Getting an evaluation is the very first step in ASD care, but families face an uphill battle just trying to get an appointment,” said Christine Ehrich, founder and CEO of Axis for Autism. “It’s a distressing time because they want to do what’s best for their kids, but are powerless to move forward until they get that evaluation. Our goal is to remove the roadblocks and help families get answers and qualify for interventions much more quickly.”
Axis for Autism’s model for ASD evaluation leverages groundbreaking technology, including a suite of scientifically validated diagnostic tools and a team of highly specialized clinicians. The company cuts the wait time from more than a year to fewer than 60 days ― even in rural areas – while giving families decisive answers and a clear course of action, now and in the future. In fact, Axis for Autism can conduct up to 500 evaluations each month ― or 6,000 a year.
“Our psychologists truly are the best of the best,” Ehrich said. “These professionals have dedicated their careers to ASD care and share our commitment to providing timely evaluations so that families can take the next step in accessing appropriate interventions.”
The company’s goal is to bring down the average age of diagnosis ― from 4 years 10 months to 2 years. That’s because a wealth of research shows early intervention can improve a child’s overall development, from improving social and language skills to mitigating behavioral challenges and boosting IQ. Indeed, the National Institutes of Health reports that early diagnosis and interventions for ASD have significant, lasting effects on symptoms and later skills.
As demand has increased and wait lists have grown longer, the cost of an evaluation also has gone up, creating another barrier to ASD evaluation. Many providers charge up to $4,500 for screenings and do not accept health insurance. Axis for Autism and its network of providers are covered by commercial insurers and Medicaid, meaning families have no or low out-of-pocket costs. For those seeking a cash-pay option, the cost is $1,700.
Physicians can make a referral to Axis for Autism, or families may contact the company directly to schedule. Evaluations take place at Axis for Autism’s locations in Central Phoenix, Glendale or Tucson. For families in rural Arizona, the company dispatches mobile clinicians to administer the screening. Following the evaluation, psychologists meet with families to review the results, share a recommended course of action and provide a warm handoff to a therapist who is matched to the family’s needs.
To learn more about Axis for Autism or to schedule an appointment, visit axisforautism.com.