What can an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Assessment help with?
An ASD assessment at the Purple House Clinic is aimed at helping children or adults who are showing possible signs of an ASD. Assessment is the first step to getting help. Once the challenges are understood- either as ASD or as another type of difficulty, the person is one step closer to understanding themselves, being understood by other people and to getting the support they need. If difficulties are not properly understood and supported, they can cause significant problems socially and emotionally and they can hamper educational or occupational achievement. The symptoms of ASD can overlap with other developmental conditions such as ADHD, as well as emotional difficulties such as anxiety. As such, there is a need for specialist assessment, undertaken by trained clinicians in order that the correct condition can be accurately identified.
Individuals benefiting from this type of assessment may be displaying or experiencing some of the following types of symptoms (not an exhaustive list!):
- not understanding what other people are thinking and feeling
- being 'rigid' in their structure and routine / not liking change
- engaging in repetitive play or activities
- being sensitive to certain sounds/smells/tastes
- finding it hard to communicate emotions
- finding it hard to make friends
- showing atypical communication e.g. repeating the same phrases or not reciprocating eye contact or smiling
- masking of social discomfort / difficulties in certain settings (commonly seen in females)
What does an assessment involve?
An ASD assessment usually comes in two parts:
Part 1 is an initial assessment to help establish whether it is appropriate for the individual to undergo full diagnostic assessment. The initial assessment usually comprises of an initial appointment lasting up to 1.5 hours during which a history of difficulties will be taken and screening measures administered. Following this, the clinician will discuss with you whether there are enough concerns associated with ASD to warrant full diagnostic testing- if so, you will then need to confirm whether you wish to proceed to Part 2 of the assessment (diagnostic assessment).
Part 2 usually comprises of several clinic-based appointments where standardised tests are completed, including the ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - 2nd edition) which is well established as part of the 'gold standard' method of diagnosing autism. Additional assessments often include administration of the ADIR (Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised) to family members, cognitive/intellectual assessment and school-based observations (in the case of child clients). Our assessments will usually involve more than one clinician in order that professionals can concur on a diagnosis. Our clinicians are all highly skilled and work hard to help children and adults alike feel at ease during the assessment process. Assessments are paced to the individual and rest breaks will be given where needed. Usually we find that clients quite enjoy the process, particularly liking some of the activities involved in the ADOS.
What can I expect following an assessment?
Following completion of the assessments, the clinician/s will analyse the assessment results and write a comprehensive report detailing the findings of all the different aspects of the assessment and confirming the diagnostic outcome. You will have the opportunity to discuss the outcome with a clinician and ask any questions you may have. Recommendations may take the form of strategies for everyday living, which may be implemented by the person themselves, family and carers, schools, college, universities or work etc. Where emotional difficulties are present, further intervention may take place the form of psychological therapies . Sometimes, ADHD might be identified as another relevant diagnosis for consideration. Where this is the case, we can help facilitate diagnosis/ treatment of this condition too- click here for information about our ADHD services.
* Please note, geographical variation in services may apply*
Contact Us to book an ASD assessment, or for information about fees.