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Autism Spectrum Condition Assessment

The signs and impact of autism, often referred to as Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), are not identical for everyone and can strongly differ depending on their environment. While many characteristics of ASC are strengths, there are also some characteristics that can become challenging and impact overall well-being.

Consequently, getting the right diagnosis is important and can help to:

  • Understand your child’s needs and how you can help your child

  • Get advice about support for your child in school

  • Get support for parents and carers, including financial support

  • Understand that your child is not just being “difficult”

Snack Time

Signs your child is on the autism spectrum

Often parents will look for guidance and support if they experience some of the following signs which may be an indicator that your child is on the autism spectrum:

  • Experience language delays

  • Have difficulties with understanding typical social cues

  • Find it difficult to communicate I ways that others will understand

  • Find it challenging to understand other peoples points of view

  • Find change difficult to manage, and prefer daily routines and sometimes even strict rules

  • Have intense interests on specific things/topics that take up a lot of their focus

If you think your child is on the autism spectrum, you should speak to your GP or the school SENCO about your concerns.

Depending on processes in your area, the SENCO or GP can make a referral for an autism assessment. This can often result in long waiting times due to demand.

Assessments can also be self funded.

Consequently, parents, carers, local authorities and schools will approach our qualified team at bMindful to undertake this assessment on a private basis. This can often lead to accessing the right support, guidance and financial assistance much quicker. 

What should you do if you think your child is showing signs of autism?

  • Write a list of characteristics you have concerns about

  • Ask people who know your child well (like friends, family and teachers) about what they have observed

  • Find out about the autism assessment referral process in your are

  • Speak to one of our clinicians for an initial consultation

 

What will the assessment involve?

 

Before the assessment:

  • Once an assessment is agreed upon, we will provide you with questionnaires to complete that will be reviewed by the lead clinician. If you need any help in completing the questionnaires your designated case worker is available to support you. You may also find it helpful to gather information from people who know your child such as friends, family members, carers, teachers etc. The more information our clinician has, the more thorough and individualised the report and recommendations can be.

  • The lead clinician will hold an initial meeting with you to gather more information on your child’s history and presenting concerns using the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI), as appropriate.

  • If the need is indicated, the clinician may carry out an observation to review your child’s behaviours and how they interact in different environments, such as at home or school.

  • The clinician will also request access to any reports you may have received from your GP, nursery, school or other professionals.

 

During the assessment:

  • The assessment will take place on our premises in one of our designated therapy suites.

  • Prior to the assessment taking place, you and your child will be given an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the environment.

  • Following NICE guidelines, the assessment will include a cognitive assessment and completion of the Autism Diagnostic Schedule Observation (ADOS) with the lead clinician. The meeting may be filmed/observed by an additional clinician for further scoring validity.

  • The clinician will liaise with either an Occupational Therapist or Speech and Language Therapist who will also undertake an assessment and provide the lead clinician with their findings to be incorporated into the final report and possible diagnosis.

  • Where possible, the assessments will be carried out on the same day, however, if this is not possible or would be considered too intensive for your child, the assessments may be held over two sessions.

 

After the assessment:

  • The lead clinician will hold a multi-disciplinary meeting involving all those who have undertaken your child’s assessment and any other key professional involved to discuss the assessment. This will then form part of the report and recommendations.

  • The assessment report and recommendations will be prepared by the lead clinician and a further consultation meeting will be held with you to discuss the findings and recommendations.

  • You will be provided with an electronic and hard copy of the report, signed by the team members involved in the administration of the assessment.

  • Where appropriate, a programme of ongoing support and guidance may be discussed with you involving professionals such as psychologists, psychotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

 

What happens if you do not agree with the findings?

  • Ask the team to explain why they have made the diagnosis they have.

  • You can speak with your GP or refer to an alternative provider to undertake a further assessment and gain a second opinion.

How much does it cost?

Depending on the circumstances and what support you are currently accessing for your child we can provide:

  • Individual ADOS Assessment: £300

  • Full Autism Assessment, Diagnosis, and Recommendations: £2,500

 

The initial phone consultation is provided free of charge and payment terms are available.

 

What if you are unsure about what to do?

Our clinicians are available for an initial discussion to support you in considering what the best approach is for your child.

Contact our office on 0161 510 0111 or complete our initial enquiry form
and a member of our team will contact you.

Other useful contacts:

  • Visit The National Autistic Societys About Autism pages.

  • The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) can also offer support and advice if your son or daughter displays challenging behaviours. Visit the CBF website or call their family support line on 0845 602 7885.

  • Getting support for the rest of the family is also important. SIBS can help brothers and sisters to come to terms with their siblings condition. Visit the SIBS website or call 01535 645 453.

Check out our blog "How Can I Support My Child After an Autism Diagnosis? A Parent's Perspective" here: https://www.bmindfulpsychology.co.uk/post/a-parent-perspective-on-the-impact-of-autism-diagnosis  

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