Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how an individual communicates with and relates to other people and is also characterised by restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities. It is a “spectrum” condition which means that it varies in severity from” low functioning” to “high functioning” autism (previously known as Asperger’s syndrome).
In addition to these features, people with autism frequently experience a range of cognitive, learning, language, medical, emotional and behavioural problems. These can include a need for routine and difficulty understanding other people, including their intentions, feelings and perspectives. Approximately 60-70% of people with autism have some degree of learning disability and around 70% have at least 1 other (often unrecognised) physical or mental health problem, such as sleep problems, eating problems, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, ADHD, coordination problems and sensory sensitivities. These problems can substantially affect the person’s quality of life and that of their families or carers, and lead to social vulnerability.
We offer the following Autism assessments for children at the Centre:
Autism Diagnostic Package
This assessment is carried out by at least two health professionals and takes approximately three to four hours. Prior to the appointment, relevant information will be collected from school and home. An observational test called an ADOS is conducted with the child or young person. This is an assessment of communication, social interaction and play and is adapted to the age of the child. In addition to this, a cognitive assessment is carried out and a structured interview with the parents is conducted which includes a review of the child’s early development. The findings are then evaluated and discussed by the professionals in order to consider the diagnosis.
In some cases, a school visit may be recommended (which is not included in the price).
A full written report is produced for all patients and discussed during a follow-up appointment or telephone consultation. If a diagnosis of autism is made, a full explanation will be given and advice regarding further management. We may recommend additional assessments such as a Speech and Language or Occupational Therapy assessment.
Cost of assessment £1500
In view of the fact that ADHD and Autism often overlap with other conditions, we also offer this more comprehensive package which would be recommended for children who may have more complex difficulties. The assessment is carried out by our specialist neurodevelopmental Paediatrician and his colleague. This may be a Psychologist or a Speech and Language Therapist depending on the child’s main difficulties. Prior to the appointment, relevant information will be collected from school and home, including a school observation report from your child’s teacher. The assessment itself includes an ADOS, as above (an observational test to assess communication, social interaction and play) which is adapted to the age of the child and a longer, more detailed developmental evaluation. Standardised tests are carried out to look for other co-existing conditions and include a specialist behavioural assessment, a full cognitive assessment, more thorough tests of attention and an evaluation of communication difficulties. The whole assessment takes 3-4 hours in total and at the end of the appointment, we will discuss the possibility of a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD or other conditions. Very rarely, more information may be requested from school before a final conclusion may be reached. A full written report is produced for all patients.
Cost of assessment £2400