In this episode of the Autism Parent Helper Podcast, host John Lubbers from the Leaf Wing Center is joined by Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg, a licensed clinical psychologist, board-certified behavior analyst, and certified positive, disciplined parent educator in Los Angeles. Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg specializes in working with gifted children, and children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), specific learning disorders, and childhood anxiety. She also focuses on supporting caregivers of children with special needs.
The episode begins with a discussion about the increasing rates of autism over the years. Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg explains that the rise in prevalence may be due, in part, to improved detection and awareness of autism, as well as better diagnostic tools.
The main topic of the episode is diagnostic assessments and their significance for parents seeking services for their children with autism. Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg clarifies that psychological assessments and diagnostic assessments are used interchangeably, and these assessments are conducted by licensed clinical psychologists or medical doctors with proper training in the area.
The importance of comprehensive assessments is highlighted, encompassing cognitive, adaptive, social-emotional, and academic skills. The diagnostic process involves a multi-method and multiple rater approach, including interviews, behavioral observations, and norm-referenced psychological tests. Gathering information from various sources who interact with the child, such as teachers and caregivers, is crucial to obtain a holistic understanding of the child’s behavior in different settings.
The episode emphasizes the need for assessing language skills and factors that affect the assessment process, such as a child’s age and behavior during the assessment. Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg also stresses the significance of reassessments, typically done every one to two years, to monitor progress and adjust interventions accordingly.
When choosing an assessor, Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg advises parents to seek a specialist comfortable working with children and open-minded about the assessment process. It is essential for parents to be ready to hear the assessment results and be prepared for the potential impact on their child’s future services.
Regarding insurance coverage, Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg explains that most insurance plans cover psychological assessments if they are deemed medically necessary based on a specific diagnosis. She encourages parents to inquire about their behavioral health coverage and seek medical doctors’ assessments if needed, as they may have different criteria for coverage.
Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into the assessment process for autism and highlights the importance of comprehensive evaluations to support children and families in the best possible way.
You can learn more about Dr. Lyre Caruz-Fribourg at https://www.carnelianclinical.com