ASD Assessment For Children
The aim of the assessment is to provide a definitive diagnostic opinion about the presence or otherwise of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). During the assessment, other difficulties may be identified and further assessment recommended. For example, other overlapping neuro-developmental conditions such as ADHD might require diagnosis; and sensory or motor skills difficulties may need an Occupational Therapy assessment; or learning /educational difficulties may need an Educational Psychology assessment.
Prior To The Assessment
Information gathering from parents and/or carers and others who know the child will take place via the following forms:
- Parental questionnaire including a detailed developmental history
- Questionnaires and rating scales from other settings – usually school/nursery/college
These will need to be completed and returned to the Centre prior to the appointment.
What Happens During An Assessment?
An ASD assessment is comprised of several elements including:
- Detailed clinical interview with parents/carers
- A brief speech and language evaluation to examine social communication
- A brief occupational therapy evaluation to examine any sensory difficulites
- Direct behavioural observation of the child either play based (for younger children) or conversation based (for older children) using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) where appropriate
- A feedback session of the findings
The ADOS is a standardised, semi structured observational assessment tool used to assist in the diagnosis of autism and autism spectrum disorders. Through the use of semi-structured activities and conversations, it provides opportunities to observe the behaviours, strengths and difficulties in social communication, interaction and play that are important for diagnosis. While the ADOS is useful in contributing to the overall picture of the child/young person it should only be used as part of a full assessment which includes a detailed developmental history and information on the child’s development and behaviour in other settings. It cannot be used on its own for diagnostic purposes.
In some cases assessment by a Specialist speech and language therapist will be required before a diagnostic decision can be made.
Due to the fact that many patients live at a considerable distance from LANC it is not always possible to arrange for the child to be observed in the classroom setting but every effort will be made to ensure that we have sufficient information from school, including any observations done by other professionals, to ensure that any diagnostic conclusion reached is robust.
What Happens After The Assessment?
A detailed report will be prepared summarising the child’s developmental history and describing their current presentation in each of the key ASD areas, along with the diagnostic conclusion and any recommendations for treatment/management and further assessment.
If you would like more information about our Autistic Spectrum Disorder assessments, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01403 240002.