To get a full understanding of what a person’s needs may be, we believe that it is crucial to assess as carefully and as thoroughly as possible. Committing the time and resources to carrying out a full assessment enables those around you to provide for your needs as completely as possible. A thorough and professional assessment adds greatly to the likelihood of positive outcomes.
We focus on three main areas:
- Diagnostic assessment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- Assessment of other areas of mental health and development
- Assessment of difficulties & disorders commonly occurring with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ADHD, Anxiety, Depression)
All of our assessments conform to NICE Guidelines (National Institute of Clinical Excellence), which stipulate what all clinicians should be doing for clients in our care. We have therefore always been able to work well together with Local Authorities and Health Services, with whom we have built positive collaborative relationships.
Format of Assessment
You will meet with one of our experienced team members for an initial consultation where you can talk through your concerns and any difficulties you have, and ask any questions you may have. Following this, we will discuss with you whether of not further assessment is indicated, and a plan will be developed with some, but not necessarily all, of the following elements:
1. Further specialised interview(s) with individual/parents
2. Observation of the child at nursery/school (if appropriate)
3. Specialist play assessment (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – ADOS 2)
4. Specialist psychometric assessment of cognitive ability
5. Specialist Speech and Language Assessment
1. Individual interview to gain as complete a history as possible
2. Information gathered from a trusted other who can give a third party perspective
3. Liaison with other professionals – GP, health professionals
4. Combined ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – ADOS 2) and Speech and Language Assessment (to look at complex and ‘higher level’ language).
Our thorough assessments are aimed at providing the best reliability and accuracy in order to understand the individual fully. We try to complete the assessments in a time frame agreed with yourselves, and feed back our conclusion to you in a timely manner. When people are travelling to us from a distance we try to do as much in one visit as we can to minimise trips.
Results of the assessment
Once assessment is complete, we meet up with you to let you know the outcome, what we consider to be yours or your child’s strengths and areas of difficulty, and any diagnosis if appropriate. A full, comprehensive written report is provided, outlining all of our findings, and this can be given to any other people whom you would like to receive a copy.
For children, we then arrange an ‘information sharing’ meeting at your child’s school, and invite all of the other professionals involved with him/her. You are encouraged to bring along anyone that you feel would be helpful to both feedback meetings and meetings at school. We believe that this is your assessment and that you should be fully involved in all aspects of decision-making along the way.
If a diagnosis is not reached
Our assessments are very comprehensive and can occasionally result in a different issue being identified as being at the centre of what a child/young person is experiencing. If this is the case we give a thorough and detailed explanation of what we think may be the main issue, and discuss what options for intervention are available. Please see the ‘Intervention’ page for further information. Again, we keep families fully informed at all times and as soon as we begin to think that there may be other important factors involved we explain this to parents and carers to enable as much choice as possible.
Our charges vary greatly as we aim to keep costs down by only conducting the parts of the assessment that are necessary to reach a conclusion. However as a guide, the cost for assessment, diagnosis, feedback and post-diagnostic liaison can range from £1250 to £2250, depending on which parts of the assessment are necessary. Our initial consultation involves a clinic appointment of 1 to 1 1/2 hours, for which the fee is £150. After this appointment we will let you know which parts of the assessment we think we need to complete, and an estimate of how much each part would cost. There is no obligation to continue with the assessment following this, or indeed at any stage in the process.
Please get in touch to talk to us about arranging an assessment.