Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter for expert resources, clinic news and more.

About Our Adult ASD Assessments

At Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, we specialize in gold standard, neurodiversity-affirming autism evaluations for Adults. At the heart of our practice is Dr. Elisabeth Thurlow, whose expertise lies in autism evaluation and diagnosis, a field where she is recognized for her comprehensive and sensitive approach.

Understanding that each individual is unique, we tailor our evaluations to meet our adult clients’ specific needs. Our process is designed to be flexible, ensuring that each assessment is personalized and thorough. We believe that an accurate diagnosis of Autism can only be achieved by considering the multifaceted nature of the individual.

What Do We Offer?
austism spectrum disorder evaluation la jolla

When we conduct adult evaluations, we use a variety of instruments and approaches designed to provide clients with a 360-degree view of their strengths, challenges, and opportunities for growth. We regularly administer the gold-standard assessment instrument, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2). When additional assessment tools would add valuable perspective, we also incorporate standardized measures of cognitive functioning, social behavior, personality, independent functional skills, and executive functioning. Dr. Thurlow may also assess the masking behaviors that some autistic clients use to adapt to their social challenges.

What Is The Process?

Why do we take such care? Because we are committed to diagnostic precision. Autism is a complex diagnostic challenge because people are complex creatures. The signs of autism in women in particular have historically been overlooked. Our tailored evaluations are designed to provide the most detailed and accurate insights–for women and men alike–ensuring that no stone is left unturned.

We affirm neurodiversity in all its forms, and Dr. Thurlow is expert in accurately diagnosing Autism by using a combination of tools including:

  • Detailed developmental interviews
  • Clinical behavioral observation
  • The gold-standard ADOS-2
  • Several scored autism-specific inventories
  • Tests of cognition and processing
  • Assessments of personality
  • Assessments of day-to-day functional skills
  • Interviews/questionnaires completed by parents, partners, and/or other professionals.

At Brain Spectrum, we don’t take shortcuts when assessing our adult clients.

Autism and Women

Historically, the underdiagnosis of autistic women has been a significant concern, with many autistic women going undiagnosed due to their unique presentation. Dr. Thurlow brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this nuanced assessment process, and her understanding of the complexities surrounding the diagnosis of autistic women, including the issue of masking, sets her apart. Clients find her approach comforting, and they appreciate her ability to communicate complex findings in an accessible manner. At Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, we take pride in the rigor of our evaluations, ensuring that there are no better assessments available for understanding and diagnosing autism in women. You can trust our team for an empathetic, thorough, and unmatched diagnostic experience.

What Makes Brain Spectrum’s Assessments Different?

psychological evaluations la jolla

Our promise is that there is no more rigorous and accurate evaluation currently available than what we offer at Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology. Dr. Thurlow’s extensive experience, coupled with her sensitive and respectful approach, positions her as the top adult autism diagnostician in San Diego. Her expertise and the depth of our evaluations ensure that our clients receive not just a diagnosis, but a comprehensive understanding of their neurodiversity, paving the way for a more informed and supportive journey ahead.


Dr. Cheryl Arutt, PsyD, Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

"I have known Dr. Thurlow for 25 years and give her my highest recommendation! She is that special kind of expert who really listens, combining her deep knowledge and experience as a neuropsychologist with her compassion as a human/parent/friend to illuminate ways to really support and deeply understand young people whose brains work differently. Her evaluations improve lives, and I always know those I refer to Dr. Thurlow will be in excellent hands."

Dr. Mandy Moradi, Clinical Consultant Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center

"I have collaborated with Dr. Thurlow in various capacities over the years. She is an exceptionally bright psychologist who is committed to the wellbeing of our neurodivergent community. There is wide variability when it comes to evaluation quality, and finding a professional who offers best practice evaluations using gold-standard measures can be challenging. Dr. Thurlow offers the kind of sensitive, thorough, and evidence-based assessments that I trust. I recommend Dr. Thurlow without hesitation."

Dr. Jesse Olague, Child Psychologist, Del Mar

"Dr. Thurlow is without a doubt the best diagnostician in San Diego. Not only does she have the experience and high-level skills to understand even the most complex cases, she is also incredibly compassionate and kind. Families and professionals alike love working with her. I trust her clinical judgment without reservation."

David Teitelman, parent of a neurodivergent child.

"Dr. Thurlow is a spectacular psychologist/diagnostician. I can attest to her expertise in the areas of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and Neuro divergence. Dr. Thurlow was able to determine significant flaws in a previous evaluation of my neurodivergent child. With her help, we were finally able to obtain an accurate diagnosis after many years of struggle.

Dr. Thurlow's consultation, compassion, and support in obtaining an accurate diagnosis has truly been life-changing for our family."

888 Prospect Street, Suite 200, La Jolla, CA 92037