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Specialty Services

Specialty Services are like "mini-clinics" within VPS that serve specific underserved communities.

Current Specialty Services

Autism Evaluation and Treatment Service (AETS)

Who does this Specialty Service serve?

AETS provides evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults who are interested in determining if they have autism. AETS also supports VPS clinicians who provide therapy to individuals with an autism diagnosis.

 

Why provide a Specialty Service for this population?

Individuals who have an autism diagnosis are at heightened risk for a variety of socio-emotional challenges. In addition, autism-informed services are limited in Vermont. AETS is proud to be one of the few services to take insurance for autism evaluations and to offer evaluations for adults.

 

What does this Specialty Service do?

AETS provides autism spectrum disorder evaluations for children and adults. Assessments conducted through AETS are based on best-practice measures including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 and the Autism Diagnostic Interview Schedule, Revised. Evaluations are supervised by a licensed school and clinical psychologist. Individuals seek AETS evaluations for many reasons including to understand more about themselves, to inform eligibility for Special Education services or an Adult Developmental Services Waiver in Vermont, and to receive recommendations for educational and community-based supports. AETS takes a process-focussed approach to assessment, with the goal of making an accurate diagnostic decision and supporting individuals seeking evaluations to have a positive experience and leave with concrete recommendations to help them meet their personal goals. 

Some AETS clinicians also provide evidence-based behavioral treatment for children and adults who struggle with psychological disorders that often co-occur with autism, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Therapy is tailored to the unique goals, strengths, and needs of the client.

What specialized training do providers receive?

AETS providers generally spend a year training to administer best-practice diagnostic assessments for autism prior to beginning this work. Training includes weekly meetings with a focus on learning and practicing autism assessment instruments, understanding autism across the lifespan, current trends in autism research, cultural, economic, and diversity-related factors impacting the evaluation process and diagnostic decision making, and how to present results so they are understandable to a broad audience. All providers train under the supervision of a licensed clinical and school psychologist who has specialized in working with the autism community for many years.

Specialty Service Facilitator: Miriam Stoll, PhD

Specialty Service Provider Training

In addition to general training, VPS clinicians can elect to receive specialty training in several areas. Specialty Service providers attend regular training and supervision through the Specialty Services, which qualifies them to tailor evidence-based assessment and treatment to the needs and values of the unique populations served by the Specialty Services. 

How to Seek Evaluation/Treatment from a Specialty Service

VPS Specialty Services have their own waitlists. When you contact VPS, inform the office manager that you identify with one of the populations served by a Specialty Service. We will ensure that you are put on the waitlist associated with that Specialty Service so you will be matched with a clinician who is well qualified to meet your needs.

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