Expert Autism Diagnostics Team
Cornerstone Autism Diagnostics’ team of dedicated, experienced experts works together to take a full view of your child’s life. Collectively, we examine your child’s physical function, behavioral patterns and speech / language performance. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism endorses this multidisciplinary approach, which is our gold standard.
Meet Dr. Jessica Bissey
A licensed clinical psychologist is one of few health professionals designated to diagnose autism. But Dr. Jessica Bissey, Psy.D., HSPP, believes the multidisciplinary approach of Cornerstone Autism Diagnostics is the best, most informed practice.
Dr. Bissey leads the team, but is an independent clinical psychologist in private practice. She brings a decade of experience working with children who struggle with autism.
After earning her doctorate in psychology in 2005, she completed a post-doctorate fellowship at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. There, she received specific training in diagnostics for children with autism. Dr. Bissey is a fully licensed health service provider in psychology (HSPP), which qualifies her to diagnose autism. After thorough consideration of the multidisciplinary team's findings, Dr. Bissey prepares a comprehensive written report designed to confirm or rule out autism.
“An autism diagnosis makes a big impact on a family," Dr. Bissey says. "While it may be difficult to hear that your child has autism, it doesn't have to be discouraging and frightening. We strive to provide families the support they need to move forward. The family's experience is as important to me as providing diagnosis, education and resources.”
The Team Members
Occupational TherapistDr. Rachel Timmons OTD, OTR/L
After completing her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Psychology at Ball State University, Dr. Rachel Timmons received a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from Belmont University. She is board certified in occupational therapy and is currently pursuing board certification in pediatrics. Her experience includes sensory integration, feeding therapy, oral-motor protocols, handwriting protocols and early intervention services, including training in the methodologies of Applied Behavior Analysis. She also has extensive experience in diagnostic and evaluation services.
Dr. Timmons analyzes a child’s ability to perform physical, age-appropriate tasks. Also observed are a child’s attention span, motor skills, play skills, responses to touch or other stimuli, need for personal space, and response in transitioning to new activities.
Behavior AnalystKen Weadick MA, BCBA-Clinical Director
Ken Weadick holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences from Indiana University and has completed a master’s degree in Special Education and Educational Psychology from Ball State University. During his pursuit of a Doctorate in Special Education, Weadick has earned postgraduate certificates in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism.
As Clinical Director, Weadick guides a team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) whose expertise supports the assessment process. Each BCBA holds a master’s degree and has demonstrated competence in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, which focuses on behavioral relationships between a child and his or her environment. A BCBA thoroughly assesses a child’s baseline functions and looks at possible factors within their environment that may contribute to the behavior.
Speech and Language PathologistDr. Robert Kurtz PhD, CCC-SLP
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Goshen College, Robert Kurtz received a master’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Robert received his doctoral degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from Purdue University.
Nearly a third of children with autism struggle with verbal communication. As a speech and language pathologist, Kurtz looks for grunts, cries or shrieks that replace verbalization, difficulty with eye contact or gestures, a lack of creative language, and reliance on repetition to communicate.