Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which means the individual develops differently from what is expected. ASD can be diagnosed from a young age (2-6 years), but can also be diagnosed in adulthood. ASD presents differently for each individual, and each person will have varying symptoms and needs. It is also recognised that ASD may present differently in females; symptoms may be more subtle and females may mask their behaviours more easily than males.
People with ASD often have difficulties with:
- Social interaction, communication and play skills
- Restricted and intense interests
- Unusual repetitive behaviours and behavioural problems
- Learning and school achievement
Early intervention is effective for improving the social skills, learning, behaviour, and long-term mental health for individuals with ASD. Having an assessment is an important first step for developing a greater understanding of the person, providing supports, and overcoming challenges. This can lead to improvements in learning and the development of many important life skills.
To properly diagnose ADHD and ASD, it is vital to get a full assessment following the recommended diagnostic protocol. Assessments are conducted by psychologists experienced in the assessment and diagnosis of a wide range of developmental disabilities, with additional training specifically in the area ADHD and ASD assessment and diagnosis. We help clients (and parents and teachers) gain better awareness of their challenges in order to better manage and overcome them. Following diagnosis, clients may be eligible to access NDIS funding or other support services (see Medicare rebates and funding for assessment and treatment).
Due to the complexity of ASD diagnosis, assessments are comprehensive and informed with the involvement of a multi-disciplinary team including teachers, paediatricians, speech pathologists/occupational therapists.
An assessment usually includes:
- Interview with the parent of child or individual if client is 18+
- Interactive/observational assessment using the ADOS-2 test battery
- Parents of young children can be present for this aspect of the assessment
- Feedback session to discuss the assessment results and report, and deliver recommendations and treatment plan
We may also gain additional information from:
- Cognitive assessment when necessary or desired to understand cognitive ability level (optional)
- External observation at kinder, school and/or home
- Adaptive skills (optional)
To help you through this process book an initial intake call below: