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Autism Diagnostic Center Opens a Door for Families and Patients

Apr 26, 2024

Amy and Bill Holmes always knew their daughter Amelia had a big personality. As a toddler, she was always on the move, always talking and always expressing big emotions. But Amelia’s parents started to grow concerned with her behavioral struggles and physical outbursts, especially as an adolescent. “We knew something was different about her, but her physicians would tell us she was just hyperactive and impulsive. She wasn’t diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) until she was 13,” said Amy. 

As a teenager, Amelia continued to struggle with her emotions, social interactions, and behavioral issues, even after receiving accommodations at school and working through her ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety diagnoses in therapy. After some research, Amelia and her parents decided it was time to get tested for autism spectrum disorder. 

Unfortunately, waiting lists for most diagnostic centers in the area were 12-24 months long. But Inspira’s Autism Diagnostic Center was getting ready to open, and the Holmes family was able to schedule a consultation. The Autism Diagnostic Center fills a critical need in the community that allows individuals and families to access services and therapies for those on the autism spectrum. 

Megan Zold, L.C.S.W., A.S.D.C.S., and Kate McMullin, L.C.S.W., R.P.T., A.S.D.C.S.—the team who started the center—diagnosed Amelia with autism. Finally, Amelia and her family had answers and validation. “The diagnosis has given us more than just awareness, but also the acceptance and empowerment that will help Amelia succeed in life,” said Bill. 

“The most important part of all of this, for me, is not about a label,” said Amelia. “It’s no different than someone who has a visual impairment. I wanted the tools—the glasses—to help me do better in school, focus and be the best version of myself.” 

The Autism Diagnostic Center at Inspira Health Center Woodbury uses the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS2) to provide diagnostic services for children ages 4 and up, as well as adolescents and adults. Along with testing, diagnosis, and referral assistance, the center provides additional services for patients and families, such as help accessing support services, guidance for treatment options, and referrals to groups to address a variety of needs. To schedule an appointment, please call (856) 575-4111, and select “option 3” for Woodbury.

Topics: Inspira Medical Group, Behavioral Health, Quality