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.
The initial stage is a consultation with one of our psychologists who has experience of autism spectrum, as well as a wealth of other conditions, so that you can share your concerns and reasons for considering an autism diagnostic assessment.
It is essential that we determine whether a diagnostic assessment is appropriate for you as many other conditions have similar symptoms or presentations.
Prior to a consultation appointment for those aged under 16 years we will send you a developmental / history questionnaire to complete online. For adults this is completed immediately prior to the diagnostic assessment.
Your consultation will last up to 60 minutes where you or a relative will be asked to complete a tool which aims to identify the presence of, and determines the severity of social impairment within the autism spectrum and differentiates it from that which occurs in other disorders.
Shortly after your consultation you will receive a post consultation short report which will set out our recommendations and if appropriate, include a proposed individualised assessment plan.
For some children we may ask that they are seen by a paediatrician prior to the consultation with our psychologist. This will be in cases such as:
- Children under 5 years of age
- Where 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
The next stage will be your assessment which may be completed over several appointments depending on what we determine 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 Revised (ADIR) for those under the age of 18 years is the most appropriate tool to fully consider your child's developmental history.
- To complete the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2 (ADOS-2)
- Additional assessments may have been recommended in your post consultation report and will depend on your individual circumstances.
Post Assessment Consultation
Approximately 4 weeks after your last assessment appointment, we will invite you to attend a post assessment appointment. This appointment will usually last 30 minutes but up to 45 minutes and will enable your psychologist to:
- Provide you with a diagnosis or an explaination as to why a diagnosis is not appropriate
- Discuss any recommendations
- Signpost you to further available support
At this stage you will receive a post assessment letter to confirm, if appropriate, your diagnosis as well as detailing any recommendations for your GP.
Approximately 6 weeks following your last assessment appointment we will forward a full report via secure email.
The diagnostic report will contain the results of all the tests and assessments used and the interpretation of the results.
We recommend this is shared with other relevant healthcare and educational professionals but this of course, is at your discretion. If you do not wish to disclose it, you are under no obligation to do so.