MARS, PENNSYLVANIA– Alyson Zawitz lives 30 minutes from Pittsburgh in a town called Mars that fully embraces an out-of-this-world theme. But when Alyson couldn’t get an autism evaluation for her 9-year-old daughter Roree, in a city as big as Pittsburgh, she felt like she was living on another planet. All three waitlists she put her daughter’s name on were longer than a year.
She said, “We have all of these fantastic universities and medical centers and I was like, ‘Why can’t I get an appointment?’”
While Googling, she came across As You Are, a virtual clinic for autism diagnostic evaluations. Alyson then watched a news story about the company and couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“My eyes went buggy. This is for real? I was like, ‘I’m looking at this. I’m trying this,’” she said.
Her husband, on the other hand, had a lot of questions about how the virtual process compared to an in-person evaluation.
“My husband was like, ‘How are they going to be able to do this?’ I was like, ‘You know what, it’s worth a shot. It’s just like a Zoom, we’ve learned to adjust through this pandemic. Telehealth has become such a big player,’” she said, eager to convince him to give it a try.
They filled out the online paperwork and were able to schedule all three video calls with their dedicated As You Are physician in about 30 days. The calls included a clinical interview, an observation and a results discussion all via telehealth.
“When you see your child and you know they need assistance, you will search and search and search. This was such a jewel, a treasure, it’s sunshine,” she said.
When Alyson heard the diagnosis, she says a weight was lifted off of her chest.
“You feel like you’re up against the clock. Parents need to know there are options out there and not to give up.”
As for Alyson’s husband, who was skeptical at first, a feeling of relief swept over.
“I wanted to help my child by finding doctors and therapies, anything she needs to help her navigate life and function in everyday society,” she said. “That diagnosis is like a golden ticket. It opens up so much for your child for things that help aid them to get through the day.”
Do you have questions about your child’s development? The team at As You Are provides diagnostic evaluations for kids 16 months to 10 years old via telehealth appointments along with useful resources, including an online autism screening. Learn more at asyouare.com.