Common Questions

What is Geisinger's Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute?

Geisinger's Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI) aspires to be a world-class center of excellence dedicated to clinical care, innovation, and education that will improve and expedite the diagnosis, treatment, and care of children with special developmental needs, including autism.

ADMI offers a comprehensive menu of clinical services for children and families, including neurodevelopmental assessments, psychological and educational testing, genetic and medical diagnostic testing, genetic counseling, medication management, speech/language assessments, and behavioral evaluations.

The Geisinger-Bucknell Autism & Developmental Medicine Center in Lewisburg is ADMI’s first location and headquarters. This collaborative effort brings together Geisinger Health System’s specialists in Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics, Psychiatry/Psychology, Radiology, and Genomic Medicine and Bucknell University’s academic programs in Neuroscience, Psychology, Education, Mathematics, and Computer Science. The Center showcases a multidisciplinary team of physicians, physician assistants, speech-language pathologists, and genetic counselors. In partnership with our families, ADMI is significantly enhancing our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and ensuring the development of more effective treatment plans that are highly individualized and tailored to each child’s unique needs.

How can I schedule an appointment for my child?

A referral from your Primary Care Physician is required to obtain an appointment. Referrals should be made to ADMI.

What can I expect during my visit to ADMI?
  • You may receive some checklists or questionnaires to complete prior to or during your child’s appointment.
  • You will meet with a clinician to review your child’s medical history, developmental and behavioral history, past and current interventions and family history.
  • Your child will undergo testing to determine his or her level of developmental functioning, as well as a behavioral evaluation. A physical exam will also be performed, and blood may be drawn for genetic testing.
  • Information from these assessments will be analyzed by the clinician to form a diagnostic conclusion, and to determine the most appropriate interventions for your child.

What information do I need to bring to the first appointment?

Be prepared to provide as much information as you can about your child’s birth history, medical history, medications, and developmental milestones. Bring a copy of your child’s previous developmental or psychological evaluations (including Early Intervention or school evaluations/Re-evaluation Reports), speech/language evaluations, occupational therapy evaluations, brain imaging (MRI or CT scan) results, and results of any previous genetic testing. Write your child’s name and birthdate on each document.

Is genetic testing recommended for every patient?

ADMI's team of specialists follows national guidelines to determine when to recommend genetic testing.  

Does genetic testing involve invasive procedures?

If genetic testing is ordered, it is typically done through a simple blood test.

How do I know if ADMI accepts my insurance?

ADMI is a part of Geisinger Health System, and accepts all insurance plans that the Health System accepts.

Which payment methods are accepted?

Cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and debit cards are all accepted.

How can I learn more about and take part in ADMI studies?

We have ongoing studies in the areas of genetics/genomics and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Visit our Care & Innovation page to learn more about these research studies.

Can you recommend additional resources for parents?

Visit Patient & Family Resources for more information and check our website regularly for content updates.

How do I make a referral to ADMI?

Referrals should be made to ADMI. What to consider when referring to ADMI:

  • ADMI’s expertise is focused on the diagnosis and management of complex neurodevelopmental disorders, including:
    • Global developmental delay
    • Intellectual disability
    • Autism spectrum disorders
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Genetic diagnoses that result in developmental symptoms
  • ADMI offers a comprehensive menu of clinical services for children and families, including neurodevelopmental assessments, psychological and educational testing, genetic and medical diagnostic testing, genetic counseling, medication management, speech/language assessments, and behavioral evaluations.
  • Through our innovative outreach program, ADMI’s expert staff are available to provide educational and behavioral consultations for schools and agencies supporting children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • ADMI is pleased to launch 3 specialty clinics in 2014 dedicated to providing expert care for families living with specific genetic disorders. These include:
    • Fragile X Clinic (ADMI Lewisburg): for children and families with fragile X syndrome and related disorders
    • Dup15q Developmental Clinic (ADMI Lewisburg): for children with chromosome 15q11.2-13 duplications 
    • 22q Developmental Clinic (ADMI Lewisburg): to address the developmental concerns of children and adults with 22q11.2 deletions (formerly known as DiGeorge or velo-cardio-facial syndrome)

Why is genetic testing important?

Almost 3 out of 100 people (3%) is diagnosed with developmental delay or intellectual disability, and about 1 in 88 people is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since these neurodevelopmental conditions are fairly common, there has been a great deal of interest in finding their underlying causes and better ways to treat them. Therefore, a neurodevelopmental evaluation often includes genetic testing, which attempts to pinpoint the cause of a person’s symptoms. 

There are many different genetic tests and a doctor will choose the best type of test based on the patient’s symptoms. All genetic tests attempt to find changes or errors in a person’s DNA, which is our body’s recipe for making us grow and develop. An error in that recipe can affect the way a person's body functions, and in some cases, results in a genetic disorder. 

One of the biggest benefits to genetic testing is that it can identify the specific cause of a person’s symptoms, which may then help us provide better care and treatment for a patient. Finding a genetic cause can also help us to provide a family with information about the chances that a certain genetic condition may happen again in future generations, and can identify other family members who should be offered genetic testing.