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FOR CHILDREN

Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition. It involves difficulties with social communication and social interaction, as well as restricted patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities. It’s estimated that 1 in 100 children have autism. The functional impairment in a child with autism will vary between individuals and can range from mild to severe.

Research demonstrates that early intervention is key in supporting children with their challenging behaviours and ASD symptomatology. As such, early diagnosis and assessment is vital for children presenting with ASD symptoms as this allows for an individualised treatment plan to be catered for them. The assessment process can be conducted for a child at any age. 

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An ASD assessment can assist with:
  • Gaining a more comprehensive understanding of your child’s needs. An ASD assessment and diagnosis can help parents to gain a better insight into certain behaviours of their child and provides for an explanation as to why their child may be displaying such behaviours and tendencies. This can further allow parents to implement more suitable techniques at home to manage their child’s challenging behaviours.
  • Developing an individualised and tailored treatment plan. This individualised and tailored treatment plan can be implemented in both a child’s home and school setting, further allowing for an individualised learning plan to be implemented at school to better target your child’s learning needs when at school. 
  • Accessing further funding supports as well as additional assistance and resources. When a child receives a diagnosis of ASD, parents are often encouraged to seek additional funding for their child to help with long term therapeutic supports. This can include NDIS funding, carer support, as well as carers’ allowance via Centrelink. An ASD diagnosis can also allow schools to be eligible for further funding to support your child at school (e.g., a teachers’ aid).
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Assessment Process:
  • Initial Consultation: A 1-hour initial consultation with the primary caregiver/parent of the child is completed. The primary purpose of this consultation is to obtain background information that is important in understanding the child’s presenting concerns. This often includes information pertaining to family background, pre-natal and early developmental history, medical history, education history, current challenging behaviours and symptoms, and previous/current interventions that the child may be engaged in. It is often useful to also obtain reports from the child’s school and other treating practitioners including speech and occupational therapist (if applicable).
  • Clinical Interview: A 2-hour clinical interview is completed with the primary caregiver/parent of the child. This is completed using a gold-standard structured parent interview known as The Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R). The ADI-R covers three main domains: language/communication, reciprocal social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped behaviours and interests.
  • Autism Assessment: The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) is a gold standard diagnostic tool that is commonly used to assess and diagnose autism across various ages and developmental levels. The standardised assessment covers several key areas including communication, social interaction, play, and restricted and repetitive behaviours. This assessment is completed with the child at our clinic office and takes approximately 1 hour to complete.
  • Psychologist Report: The treating psychologist will prepare a comprehensive report detailing the child’s results, diagnosis (if applicable), and recommendations. Scoring and reporting is based on 6 hours of service.
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