Autism Diagnostic Assessments
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS (ASD), including Asperger’s Syndrome, is a type of neurodevelopmental disorders. It is a lifelong diagnosis. With the right kind of support, people with ASD often lead successful and fulfilling lives. However, there are particular areas of their lives where they experience genuine barriers:
- Managing social situations and social interactions;
- Communicating with other people, and;
- Developing and maintaining social relationships.
Additionally, people with ASD may find it hard to cope with changes and rely on extraordinarily strict routines to manage their lives. Some have very intense interests in certain areas, and dedicate most of their energy and time in pursuing these interests. Sensory sensitivities (e.g. sensitivity to light, sounds, textures) are also frequently reported amongst people with ASD.
When to consider an Autism Diagnostic Assessment?
If you experience the aforementioned symptoms, it would be helpful to explore an Autism Diagnostic Assessment and see if a diagnosis of ASD is a useful way of understanding your difficulties.
Who will carry out the assessment?
You will meet with Dr Catherine Cheung. She is a Clinical Psychologist specialising in ASD. She is formally trained in autism diagnostic assessments and employing a range of ‘gold standard’ autism diagnostic tools. She has extensive clinical experiences of assessing people with ASD across the lifespan. She is familiar with the presentation of ASD in women and in people with ASD who have led a complex life.
What to expect at an Autism Diagnostic Assessment?
An Autism Diagnostic Assessment is a comprehensive process. It usually requires at least three hour-long meetings. We will explore different aspects of your life, before arriving at a diagnostic conclusion. Your clinician will go through each step of the diagnostic assessment with you.
Typically, an Autism Assessment will comprise of the following:
- A clinical interview to understand your current difficulties and early life experiences;
- A social communication observation assessment, and;
- (If available), a developmental history interview with a parent or an informant interview with a person who knows you well.
Sometimes, we may require additional assessment meetings to gather further information, and we will discuss this with you.
What to expect at the Feedback Session?
After we have gathered all the necessary information, we will meet again to discus the diagnostic outcome. We will discuss the diagnosis of ASD. There are three possible outcomes:
- You meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD
- We will explore therapy options for your difficulties.
- You do not meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD
- We will think about differential diagnoses or more appropriate ways of understanding your difficulties. We will also discuss the kind of help that you would benefit from.
- We are not able to conclude at this stage
- People may have experienced complex trauma or mental health difficulties. The effects on their well-being and functioning may need to be addressed before considering a neurodevelopmental diagnosis.
Ultimately, our aim is to find the best way to understand you and your needs, and identify the most helpful way forward for psychological and/or psychiatric interventions.
What is the cost of the assessment?
The cost of an Adult Autism Diagnostic Assessment starts from £1600. Please contact our clinic directly to discuss the fees.