Tucson Alliance for Autism (TAFA) provides gold standard assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The evaluation procedure includes the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule: Second Edition. The ADOS-2 as an evaluation tool has the highest sensitivity and specificity to an ASD diagnosis when administered by trained and reliable professionals according to Goldstein & Azonoff 2018, current experts in the field. This is a standardized instrument aligned with diagnostic criteria set by American Psychiatric Association and an interactive assessment in which the evaluator works directly with the client. The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised is another tool used by the TAFA evaluation team critical to a comprehensive evaluation of ASD. This interview tool, also aligned with diagnostic criteria set by the American Psychiatric Association, is a comprehensive caregiver interview targeting current and past behaviors characteristic of ASD. Goldstein and Azonoff emphasize that it is insufficient to allow the caregiver to respond to a list of characteristics of ASD as a means of making a diagnosis.
By including the ADOS-2 and ADI-R both administered by trained evaluators who have greater than 40 years combined experience in the assessment of ASD allows for a careful and comprehensive evaluation of TAFA clients.
Assessment of Intellectual Ability of preschool age children through adulthood examining intellectual skills within the domains of verbal comprehension, fluid reasoning, visual spatial aptitude, working memory and processing speed.
Assessments of Cognitive Ability of children and adults measuring general knowledge, long-term memory, short-term memory, visual-spatial aptitude, auditory processing, fluid reasoning, quantitative knowledge and processing speed.
Assessments of Academic Achievement measuring achievement of children and adults in the domains of reading to include basic reading skills, reading comprehension and reading fluency, written language to include writing mechanics, written expression and writing fluency and skills in mathematics to include math calculation, math problem solving and math fluency.
Dr. Kacey Chandler, PhD
Dr. Chandler is a licensed psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist and has worked with children on the autism spectrum for over 30 years. She has worked with children and families both in the private sector and as a school psychologist. Dr. Chandler was a cofounder to Tucson Alliance for Autism (TAFA) and has remained a member of the Evaluation and Treatment Team at TAFA since it opened its doors in 2005.
Ruth Aguilar Hansen, MSW, LCSW
Ms. Aguilar Hansen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has provided direct therapeutic intervention to both children and adults in a various mental health/educational programs in both Arizona and California for 28 years. Ms. Aguilar Hansen has focused on working with children on the autism spectrum for the last 14 years to include serving as an evaluation team member in a school setting. Ms. Aguilar Hansen has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of America /Southern Arizona as well as the Tucson Alliance of Autism (TAFA) Advisory Board.
If you are interested in scheduling a Comprehensive Autism Evaluation or Assessment, please call our office at (520) 319-5857 or email us at email@example.com
The Tucson Alliance for Autism is a fee for service provider. We do not accept or bill insurance companies directly.
Beware of agencies offering Virtual ADOS testing. Valid administration of ADOS-2 requires face-to-face, hands-on interaction between client & evaluator. This ensures accurate assessment of qualitative social interaction & social communication. Virtual administration of the ADOS-2 would exclude the necessary interaction required to examine those critical characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
While maintaining the fidelity of our assessments, evaluators at TAFA are taking every measure to ensure safety and health of our clients and staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic.