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About ASD Evaluations

When you come to Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology wondering if autism is affecting you or your child, you are probably feeling quite anxious about it.

Your child is bright, interesting, and uniquely wonderful, but struggles with social awkwardness, sensitivities, and unusual behaviors that are difficult to understand.

It may be the case that your child has been struggling with a number of issues for quite some time. They might have been evaluated before and diagnosed with a different condition – possibly depression, anxiety, and/or OCD – but you’re concerned that there is something else going on.

Adult clients are also becoming more familiar with the symptoms of ASD and are beginning to wonder whether their lifelong struggles could be attributable to undiagnosed autism. They may be aware that they experience some of the common signs of autism, but they are not sure whether they actually have ASD.

Common Signs of ASD:

  • Anxiety and/or discomfort in social/ group settings
  • Making and/or maintaining friendships
  • “Quirkiness”
  • Flexibly adjusting to things and tolerating change
  • Managing big and complex emotions
  • Intense interests and hobbies
  • Being a “little professor”
  • Repetitive hand or body movements
  • Immature or awkward habits
  • Difficulty with self-care or independent skills
What Do We Offer?
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Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology is a neurodiversity-affirming practice that offers comprehensive, Gold-Standard diagnostic evaluations for Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental and social-emotional challenges. Dr. Thurlow approaches each evaluation from a holistic perspective that looks at cognitive skills, social functioning, repetitive behaviors, language, and independent adaptive behavior.

In addition, because neurodivergent people frequently struggle with anxiety, fears, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and mood regulation difficulties, she assesses for commonly co-occurring disorders.

What Is The Process?
At Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, we understand how important it is to be thorough and accurate in our diagnostic process. We use the most rigorous, empirically-validated measures in our evaluations. We affirm neurodiversity in all its forms, and Dr. Thurlow is expert in accurately diagnosing ASD by using a combination of tools including:

  • Detailed developmental interviews
  • Several scored autism-specific inventories
  • Cognitive testing
  • The gold-standard ADOS-2
  • A variety of questionnaires completed by parents, partners, teachers and/or other professionals.

At Brain Spectrum, we believe that your family deserves the best, most accurate evaluation, and we take no short-cuts when it comes to diagnosing you or your loved one.

How May an ASD Evaluation Benefit You?

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First and foremost, obtaining a comprehensive evaluation can provide you with peace of mind – the kind of confidence that a brief assessment or screening cannot offer. At Brain Spectrum, we also look at the whole person, including their strengths, gifts, challenges, and struggles.

Although not every client receives a diagnosis at Brain Spectrum, we seek to offer clarity and answers for every client we evaluate. Our evaluations are designed to more effectively tailor treatment, as well as to provide educational planning for our younger clients.

What Results Can You Expect?
austism spectrum disorder evaluation la jolla
Clients who come to Brain Spectrum will receive a comprehensive evaluation for ASD. This includes administration of the Gold-Standard measure, the ADOS-2, and a clearly-written report of the results including evidence based recommendations. This report can be kept private; shared with a school to demonstrate eligibility for special education services; or shared with your treatment team.

If indicated, recommendations will also include school recommendations for special education services through an IEP, or accommodations through a 504 plan.


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