Social Challenges & Autism Spectrum Disorders

Our neuropsychological evaluations help to clarify the unique needs of individuals who are suspected of having, or who have received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, as well as young people who have social challenges but do not fall on the autism spectrum. Our autism clinic has renowned experts in the areas of assessment and diagnosis of individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders. We also specialize in the treatment and management of social and autism spectrum conditions. We provide unique and individualized support to the whole family, and offer a range of individual and group treatment/therapy options.

We believe the exceptional neuropsychological strengths of individuals on the autism spectrum afford exceptional opportunities to contribute to society; and an accurate understanding of the underlying causes for individual challenges is critical to appropriately meeting one’s or one’s child’s developmental needs. Our CAAT neuropsychologists have evaluated hundreds of children, adolescents, and adults in both clinical and research settings; our depth of experience and understanding of autism is truly exceptional. We work collaboratively at CAAT, so when you are working with one of our clinicians, you have access to the breadth of experience and expertise from our whole team. Dr. Black has obtained clinical and research reliability in the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADOS), gold-standard instruments used in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.

Social Disorders & Learning Challenges

In our experience, it is rare to find a student with a social disorder who does not have difficulty with academic learning and/or school performance. In fact, research suggests the prevalence of learning disabilities among individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and average range intellectual functioning may be as high as 67% (Mayes and Calhoun, 2006). At a minimum, children and teens on the spectrum are likely to have trouble distinguishing main ideas from supporting detail in their reading material, understanding the social logic of fiction, and interpreting the language in textbooks or literature in a non-literal manner (e.g., drawing logical inferences or interpreting idioms, proverbs, metaphors, or ambiguously worded statements). Also, almost all students with social disorders struggle with the organizational aspects of written composition and find it hard to write in a way that a reader will easily understand.

We are committed to identifying and determining effective ways to approach learning disorders, as we have found that trouble with school learning and work production (particularly when it goes unidentified and/or untreated) often creates as much stress, frustration, and discouragement for students on the spectrum as their social difficulties do. One of the major goals of our evaluations is therefore to identify any existing learning disabilities and to help students with social disorders gain the services they need to address them.

Diagnostic Evaluations 

Our diagnostic evaluations are specifically tailored to address questions regarding social challenges and possible social disorder/autism spectrum disorder diagnoses.

Click here to learn more about diagnostic evaluations.


Our team is highly qualified and experienced in the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. We understand that the entire family system is impacted by an autism spectrum and related disorders diagnosis, which is why we provide specialized services not only for the individual diagnosed with autism but also the family as a whole.

Please click here to learn more about our treatment options for individuals with social challenges or on the autism spectrum.



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