UM Autism Clinic expands services at Gables office

By Marie Guma-Diaz….
The University of Miami Autism Spectrum Assessment Clinic (ASAC) in the Department of Psychology is expanding services while remaining in its Coral Gables office.

In addition to offering psychoeducational evaluations, and social skills groups, ASAC recently expanded services to include individual and family therapy services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The new services aim to improve a variety of co-existing symptoms such as anxiety and depression, as well as improve social and independence skills for individuals with ASD.

Therapy services primarily use behavioral and cognitive-behavioral techniques (CBT). Treatment for co-existing symptoms is important in assisting individuals with ASD cope effectively with the challenges they face and can significantly improve their well-being.

“The University of Miami Assessment Clinic is unique in that the supervising psychologists are highly trained in autism spectrum disorders, and other neurological conditions, across all ages, the latest assessment instruments, and empirically validated best practices in treatments for ASD,” said Amy Beaumont, coordinator of the Autism Spectrum Assessment Clinic.

“Members of the ASAC team are actively involved in research and community outreach efforts, and being affiliated with UM-NSU CARD allows for seamless connection with CARD services for those diagnosed with ASD.”

ASAC was developed in 2002 as the need for comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for children with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders increased. The center provides comprehensive psychological evaluations to children and adults in order to clarify a diagnosis; provide updated information about cognitive, social-emotional, communicative, and other neuropsychological processes, as well as offer individualized therapeutic and/or educational recommendations.

The center includes a highly skilled team of licensed psychologists, advanced level doctoral students and interns, and consulting clinicians from the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) who ensures that individuals diagnosed with autism and their families are connected to CARD services and supports.

State-of-the-art testing measures are utilized to diagnose developmental, learning, and psychological problems and identify areas of strength. Assessment batteries include the use of the ADOS and ADI-R, by reliable clinicians, which are considered the Gold Standards in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders.

Families are provided with a written report that explains the test results, clarifies strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, provides educational and intervention recommendations that are tailored specifically to the client. In-person feedback sessions allow the family members to ask questions and discuss the results and recommendations.

To schedule an appointment or speak to a clinician, call 305-284-6140.

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