ABC of NC provides autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) diagnostic and psychological assessments for children, adolescents, and adults. Primary assessment services include psychological testing to assist in the evaluation of ASD, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, learning differences, and co-occurring emotional and behavioral difficulties.
A diagnostic evaluation can be initiated by parents, yourself, or through a referral from a physician or other community-based practitioner.
Our team will work with you and your family to design an individualized diagnostic evaluation that will likely include:
Intake Appointment: We meet with you and your family to gather background information (e.g. detailed developmental, medical, and family history). The appointment is typically scheduled for approximately two hours, in order to inform the assessment plan.
Testing Appointments: Evaluations are scheduled for approximately three hours each visit to gather the following information:
- Developmental or cognitive testing to assess thinking, learning, and problem-solving skills
- Reciprocal social communication and other symptom evaluation through direct assessment
- Adaptive behavior assessment to evaluate skills used in daily life
- Additional assessment as needed
Feedback Appointment: A feedback session is held after the final testing appointment. At this meeting, our team will discuss with you our diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations, answer any questions you may have, and help guide you to next steps.
ABC of NC offers a variety of counseling and psychotherapy treatment services for children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD and/or their family members (e.g. parents or siblings). Evidence-based approaches vary and may include cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral modification, collaborative problem-solving, applied behavior analysis, parent education and support, and more. Our team provides a comprehensive understanding of individuals diagnosed with ASD and any co-occurring conditions such as developmental delay, intellectual disability, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and/or behavioral disorders. We emphasize treatment and support to reduce challenging behavior; build social, communication, and play skills; improve interactions and adaptive skills; and manage emotional/attentional concerns. ASD impacts the entire family, and we are committed to providing resources and services to support the parents/caregivers and siblings of individuals diagnosed with ASD.
For information about our center-based ABA therapy services, click here.
Erica Blasic (MA, LPC, NCC) joined ABC of NC as a counselor for children, adolescents, and families, having worked at CEPTA (Clinica de Educación, Tratamiento y Prevención de Addiciones), where she was a bilingual counselor for children and adolescents. She also worked previously at The Achievement Center in Erie, PA as a family-based mental-health professional. Erica earned a master’s degree in counseling at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2013.
Joanna Mussey, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist who specializes in evidence-based assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She is the Clinical Director of the ABC of NC Autism Clinic. Dr. Mussey has also authored several peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and other scholarly works and research projects in addition to being an independent trainer of the widely used diagnostic measure, the Autism Diagnostic Observations Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2). She conducts diagnostic evaluations, offers consultation and trainings, and also provides individual, group, and family therapy services.
Dr. Mussey graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alabama in 2012, and completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She completed a clinical post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine’s Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the UNC TEACCH Autism Program. While at the University of Colorado and UNC, she was selected to be a Psychology Fellow in the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) program. Throughout her training and career, Dr. Mussey has acquired training in state-of-the-art ASD assessment, research, and intervention methods to help advance clinical services, research, and professional education that address the needs and increase the quality of life of individuals with ASD/IDD across the life span.
The Autism Clinic is currently credentialed for the following insurance companies: Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS), Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA), Cigna, Magellan, Medcost, Multiplan, Tricare, United Healthcare & United Behavioral Health (UHC/UBH), and Medicaid through CenterPoint and Cardinal Innovations. If your insurance provider is not listed, please contact Darlene Steele, clinical practice manager, at (336) 251-1180, ext. 135
For information regarding coverage of specific ABA services, please contact your employer and/or your insurance provider.
For more information about scheduling a diagnostic evaluation, an updated evaluation, and/or therapy sessions for a child/adolescent with an autism spectrum disorder or a family member, please contact Leigh Ellen Spencer, client relations coordinator, at (336) 251-1180, ext. 120.
The US health care system is experiencing a technological transformation. With the changes in value-based care reimbursement models, sharing data will be imperative. That is why we will work to connect our electronic medical record system with North Carolina’s state-designated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex, which is operated by the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) housed in the North Carolina Department of Information Technology. For employees and clinicians who have direct contact with patients, we will provide additional training and resources to help educate patients about NC HealthConnex and how to use this new tool. There will be more information on those opportunities to come. The process can take several months depending on the technical configuration requirements. During that time, we will keep you apprised of the status of this project. If you have any questions, contact the clinical practice manager Darlene Steele at (336) 251-1180, ext. 135. A full description of NC HealthConnex is also available here.