Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD):
Assessment and Support
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Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by persistent and pervasive difficulties with social communication and interaction (e.g., difficulties making and maintaining friendships), combined with restricted and repetitive behaviours (e.g., distress at changes in routine). These difficulties are present across multiple contexts (e.g., both home and school) and negatively impact on the young person’s functioning.
Our autism assessment package has been specifically developed with your child and family at the centre of the process. Diagnostic assessments involve specialised assessment tools, detailed discussions about your family’s history and concerns, and expert understanding of your child’s strengths, difficulties and needs. We can make recommendations for support.
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Who can we Assess?
What does an ASD assessment involve?
The ‘gold-standard’ approach to diagnosing Autism in children is to have several clinicians involved. This is known as a multi-disciplinary approach and ensures a comprehensive and objective assessment.
An autism assessment is very thorough and we work hard to ensure that the assessment includes all the relevant information to ensure the outcome is the right one for your child.
Prior to the assessment, we will ask that some pre-assessment questionnaires are completed by you, and by teachers who know your child best at school. These questonnaires ask about your current concerns, social skills and behavioural difficulties, and will ensure that an ASD assessment is the most appropriate assessment for your child.
Our Gold-Standard Assessment Appointment
We will meet together for approximately 90 minutes. This meeting involves a standardised observation and intervie, using the most up-to-date and evidence-based tools, called the ADOS-2 and 3di. These tools involve detailed conversations and engaging and stimulating activities to explore how your child sees the world. We will also assess for any additional mental health concerns and neurodevelopmental difficulties, such as ADHD. An additional cognitive assessment of your child’s intellectual functioning can be completed. We recognise that children may feel anxious about this process. A flexible approach, allowing time to build rapport and ensuring your child feels safe during the assessment is our priority.
As part of our discussions, we will complete a very thorough developmental interview. We will have the opportunity to think about your child’s school history, your family experiences and your child’s emotional wellbeing. This process is specifically designed to identify clinical and sub-clinical ASD.
Formulation and Discussion
A detailed discussion will take place between clinicians. The aim will be to understand all the information provided from the assessment so far, and come to a working understanding of what is happening for your child. There may also be consultation and supervision from a Consultant Psychiatrist if needed, to ensure an accurate diagnostic outcome.
Feedback and Report
A video feedback appointment is offered for you with both Clinical Psychologists, within just one week of the assessment. We recommend that your child attends this appointment if they are aged 11 or older.
A written report will be provided, outlining the diagnostic outcome (where one can be made), a wider understanding of what is going on for your child, and recommendations most appropriate for your child. This will be sent to you after this feedback meeting. There will also be an opportunity to request any amendments to the report.
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