MCGUIRE AIRFORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY- “All of this time we had waited just to be seen; it was just such a breath of fresh air,” Janeka Johnson said, describing what it was like to finally get an appointment for her son’s autism diagnostic evaluation.
Janeka Johnson is crying happy tears as she explains the weight lifted off her shoulders. The sense of relief comes after waiting two years for answers. Her 4-year-old son Francisco recently received an autism diagnosis from a physician at As You Are, a virtual clinic with exclusively telehealth appointments for diagnostic evaluations. Physicians meet with families through a video call to interview parents, observe the child, provide a diagnosis, and get children started receiving intervention services early, to help children thrive.
“Since he was 2, we have been hammering away to try to get a diagnosis. Trying to get in, get him seen. Month after month, year after year, trying to get this evaluation done,” she said, frustrated with the long wait times in New Jersey for an in-person evaluation.
Janeka found As You Are through Facebook and scheduled an evaluation after scanning the website top to bottom. She learned that the process would involve three video calls with a dedicated As You Are physician, all from her home. And what’s more, she could get an appointment quickly.
“The first appointment was just phenomenal. I got so emotional. Oh my God, we were just elated, we were so excited to get to the next appointment,” she said.
She says Francisco was able to be himself during the video calls. He was in his own environment and therefore expressed himself the way he normally would when he is comfortable, and on the third appointment, her son was diagnosed with autism.
“Having this diagnosis puts us right where we need to be. We can get him the behavioral specialists that he needs, we can do the things he needs to get him ahead. This is a leg up,” she said.
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.