The Assessment Process

Your age and perceived challenges will determine how we deliver your autism diagnostic assessment to prove or disprove the presence of the condition. Each person is individual and as such our assessments are tailored to your specific needs.

The following is a description of our minimum method of assessment which is designed to give you an insight into the process involved. 

 

Consultation

The initial stage is a consultation with one of our Psychologists, so that you can share your concerns and reasons for considering an autism diagnostic assessment.

Autism Assessment Consultation

It is essential that we determine whether an ASD assessment is appropriate for you as many other conditions have similar symptoms or presentations. 

Your consultation can last up to one hour.

Consultation

For some children, adolescents or adults we will need to invite you for a consultation with our Associate Paediatrician or Psychiatrist, specifically in cases where:

  • Children under 7 years of age
  • There is any evidence with regression in motor skills or language acquisition 
  • A specific mental health or medical condition is identified or raised as a concern

Shortly after your consultation you will receive a post consultation report which will set out our recommendations for further assessment and include a proposed individuaslied assessment programme.

 
 

Assessment

The next stage will be your assessment which may be completed over several appointments depending on what is required. The assessments will be completed at a pace that is comfortable for you. 

During your appointments it will be necessary for us to:

  • Gather a full personal history, focusing on developmental and behavioural features. The Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADIR) for those under the age of 18 years is the most appropriate tool. This interview also considers your child's medical history, including prenatal, perinatal and family history, and past and current health conditions.
  • To assess social, interaction and communication skills, repetitive and stereotyped behaviours, as well as sensory interests or sensitivities.  We do this during each appointment but will also use a formal diagnostic assessment, namely the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2)
  • Additional assessments will have been recommended in your post consultation report and will depend on your individual circumstances.
Prior to your first appointment we will ask to write to your GP to ascertain a full medical history.  For children and adolescents we also seek consent to contact the school SENCO so that, with your permission, they may contribute to the assessment process. 

Prior to your first appointment we will ask to write to your GP to ascertain a full medical history.  For children and adolescents we also seek consent to contact the school SENCO so that, with your permission, they may contribute to the assessment process. 

Autistic spectrum and special educational needs may be co-morbid and thus, it is extremely important that we consider input made available from the relevant educational establishment.  We do this by inviting them to take part in the assessment process.

Autistic spectrum and special educational needs may be co-morbid and thus, it is extremely important that we consider input made available from the relevant educational establishment.  We do this by inviting them to take part in the assessment process.

 

Post Assessment Consultation

Between 3 and 5 weeks following your last assessment appointment, we will invite you to attend a post assessment consultation.  This appointment will usually last between 30 and 45 minutes and will enable the Lead Psychologist:

  • Provide you with a diagnosis or an explaination as to why a diagnosis is not appropriate
  • Discuss any recommendations
  • Signposting you to further available support
  • Provide you with a letter setting out a summary of the diagnostic assessment.

Diagnostic Report

Approximatley 6 weeks following your last assessment appointment we will send you a full diagnostic assessment report using secure email.  

The diagnostic report will contain the results of all the test and assessments used, an interpretation of the results and a detailed concluesion.

We recommend this is shared with other relevant healthcare and educational professionals but will leave this for you to decide.  If you do not wish to disclose it to your GP you do not have to.

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