What is a training clinic?

A training clinic means that a primary mission of the clinic is to train students. In some other settings, the focus may be on seeing a large number of patients in order to generate revenue to offset clinic costs. In contrast, the focus of a training clinic is often on providing services to a smaller number of clients. The emphasis is placed on providing students the opportunity to learn a variety of different skills and support their learning to provide the highest quality of care. 


We have students from a variety of different graduate programs in school, clinical and applied psychology. All services are delivered by a student supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist. The psychologist may be present and observing directly or reviewing video recordings. All sessions MUST be video recorded if a psychologist is not present.

Is there a fee for the PSC's services?

The services offered by the PSC do require payment. 

  • Assessment fees are fixed, based on assessment type and go up to $3300. 

  • Individual and group therapy is charged on a per-session basis, on an income-based sliding scale, ranging from $20-100.

Currently, all service fees are out-of-pocket. We do not accept insurance. We can provide documentation for you to submit to your insurance company. 


Why is the waitlist so long?

This is a training clinic that focuses on teaching students who plan to become psychologists and want to work with autistic adults. The clinic is staffed by two supervisors and a small group of students each semester, so there is a limited capacity for providing services. In addition, there are only a few places that provide similar services, so many people are referred to us. 

We understand that the wait can be frustrating and we are sorry we cannot see everyone sooner. Autism New Jersey provides an online referral database and also a helpline that may be useful in identifying other providers. https://www.autismnj.org/information-services/helpline/ 

Where do PSC services take place?

Locations for services will vary depending on multiple factors, such as group size (for group-based treatments), necessary amenities/resources, etc. When actively participating in services provided by the PSC, individuals may find themselves at one of the locations below:

Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services- Douglass Campus
100 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

LifeSPAN ASD Research Lab - Busch Campus
Nelson Building, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Certain clinical activities can also be conducted remotely.

Are services in person? Do you have virtual (telehealth) options?

All diagnostic assessments require at least one in-person visit. If you are coming from a far distance, the clinician will work with you to try to get all in-person testing done in one day. This may mean planning for two sessions with a break in between (i.e., see: Client direct testing and Client additional testing) 

Format of treatment services vary. 

What are the elements of a diagnostic evaluation?

There are several parts to the diagnostic assessment. Please note, if a parent/caregiver is not available, the PSC coordinator will talk with you about whether other informants are available/would be helpful to include in the diagnostic evaluation. 

  1. Questionnaires (time varies; all completed online)

    • Purpose: to gather self-report (and caregiver/parent) perspectives in multiple areas 

  2. Client clinical intake (~1.5 hours: virtual) 

    • Purpose: to understand reason for referral and gather information about background and current experiences

  3. Parent/Caregiver interview (~4 hours: virtual) 

    • Purpose: to get developmental history and information regarding past and current behaviors relevant to the diagnostic question

    • Two standardized interviews are often used (Autism Diagnostic Interview; Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales) 

  4. Client direct assessment (~4 hours: in person)

    • Purpose: to observe and directly test strengths and difficulties 

    • This evaluation will involve the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Other tests may be administered, depending on the referral question 

  5. Client additional testing (Time varies as needed; may be in-person or virtual depending on testing) 

    • Purpose: to inform the clinician’s diagnostic impressions. Often people present with a variety of strengths and difficulties, which warrant consideration of alternative diagnoses or diagnoses in addition to autism. 

    • Specific tests vary, depending on the questions presented. They may include interviews to gather information about psychiatric history/mental health, additional standardized testing to assess attention, academic skills, vocational skills. 

  6. Feedback session (1 hour: virtual)

    • Purpose: to review the evaluation results, diagnosis and treatment recommendations 

When do individual and group-based treatments begin? How long does treatment last?

The PSC currently has a waitlist for treatment services. If a therapist/group is available that may be an appropriate fit for the client's needs, the individual/family will be contacted, and a 1-2 session intake will be scheduled with a clinician. The intake will obtain important information to inform fit for the PSC services and (if appropriate) creation of a treatment plan. A treatment plan outlines therapy goals, approaches, and approximate timelines. 

After the client and therapist agree on a treatment plan, treatment will begin. Schedules are determined based on client-therapist availability. In the case of groups, all group members and therapists will be taken into consideration. 

Both individual and group therapy are generally offered on a short-term basis. The specific timing varies depending on treatment goals and individual needs, but typically spans 12 to 20 weeks.

What is the difference between the PSC and the LifeSPAN ASD Research Lab?

The PSC is a psychological services clinic that is housed within RCAAS. The LifeSPAN ASD Lab is a program that conducts research studies. While the information obtained from research is hoped to benefit individuals through advancing scientific knowledge and informing best clinical practices, research participants may not directly benefit from participating. 

At times, the LifeSPAN ASD Research Lab conducts studies that offer clinical assessments and/or treatment. These are often offered for free, as part of the research study; however, the assessments and/or treatments follow a specific study protocol.       

Dr. Bal’s clinical practice informs her research and research informs her clinical practice. As Director of both PSC and LifeSPAN ASD Lab, there are several important ways in which they overlap: 

  1. PSC clients will be given the opportunity to sign a consent so that the information collected during their services can later be used for research purposes. This is similar to consents you might sign at a doctor’s office for hospital.  

  2. Individuals seeking PSC services will be told about research opportunities that may be relevant to their reason for referral. For example, if Dr. Bal has a study that is offering treatment for depression or anxiety, someone who is seeking therapy for depression may be given information about that study so they can decide if they want to receive treatment through research. 

  3. Research study participants will be told about PSC services that may be relevant to their personal needs. 

How does the PSC collaborate with the RCAAS-SCALE and -CSP units?

The PSC conducts evaluations of prospective participants of the SCALE and CSP who progress to the advanced stages of the application process in order to inform fit for the respective programs.

As part of the RCAAS' mission, all prospective participants are given the opportunity to provide consent for information from these evaluations to be stored in Dr. Bal's LifeSPAN ASD Lab databank for research purposes. Information will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of certain SCALE and CSP components, as well as inform broader understanding of autism in adulthood.

Click here to learn more about LifeSPAN ASD Lab and their team.

How can I find out about LifeSPAN Lab research opportunities?

If you’d like to be added to our e-mail list for updates from the lab, you can fill out the form at this link. You will receive occasional emails about opportunities to participation in research, as well as info about the lab. 


You can also check out their website at : https://gsapp.rutgers.edu/lifespanasdlab