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About Assessments For Adults

Dr. Thurlow is a lifespan neuropsychologist with extensive experience evaluating clients of all ages. At Brain Spectrum, she conducts comprehensive ASD, psychological, neuropsychological, and learning disorder evaluations of adult clients of all ages.

Accurate diagnosis is important because treatment recommendations – whether through medication support, psychotherapy, executive functioning coaching, group therapy, marriage counseling, life coaching, or other forms of treatment – can be more effectively tailored to you. Many adult clients experience a deep sense of relief when they finally achieve clarity on issues that they have lived with for a very long time.

Brain Spectrum offers assessments of adults for the following:

How Can A Psychological Assessment Help?

adult neuropsychological evaluations

Adult clients come to Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology for many reasons. Some have questions about whether they have ADHD or a learning disorder. Others have a desire for clarification on a mental health diagnosis, like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). One of the most common questions that brings adults to Brain Spectrum for evaluation is whether or not they have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

When a person is seriously impacted by ASD symptoms, they typically exhibit obvious signs from early childhood. However, when ASD presents in a milder form, it can often be misdiagnosed or even missed entirely. Misdiagnosis is more common when it comes to autism in women and girls. Autistic females frequently learn to mask their symptoms and can present outwardly as “neurotypical.” However, the inner experience of an autistic person who masks can be a different story.

Navigating a complex social world can be overwhelming for a neurodivergent person. Anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and social isolation are common, and the burden of masking can add a layer of overwhelming stress. For instance, autistic people frequently also have a history of trauma that may be related to bullying and abuse. It may also be related to misdiagnosis, as well as to inappropriate, ineffective, and potentially damaging therapies.

What Is Our Process?

At Brain Spectrum, we have a great respect for neurodiversity, and we use a variety of gold-standard methods, including the ADOS-2, to achieve a high degree of diagnostic accuracy.

Your first appointment is a client interview during which we obtain your developmental history and learn about your personal experience and current challenges. This one-on-one session can be conducted in-person or via our telehealth platform.

​​At the end of this appointment, Dr. Thurlow will discuss with you the type of evaluation that is best suited to you. Depending on the nature of the evaluation, you will then be scheduled for up to three testing appointments. These in-person appointments typically last between two and four hours each. During these sessions, Dr. Thurlow will observe and interact with you, and administer relevant tests that will lead to a better understanding of the intricacies of your unique processing. Various questionnaires will be sent out by email to you and other respondents as appropriate (with your approval).

What Results Can Be Expected?

psychological evaluations la jolla

Once testing is complete and all relevant information has been received, all the data that has been compiled is then reviewed and interpreted. A custom evaluation report of the results will be provided, which you will receive at the end of a 50-minute feedback session.

Depending on the results of the evaluation, additional recommendations will be made to help you to navigate your unique experience and to best overcome any challenges that you face.


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