Autism Assessment and Support

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Under 18 Adults
 
Autism assessment and support reading, berkshire

Children and Adolescents

NICE-Guidance recommended assessment

By the time a parent searches for an autism assessment for their child their journey has already been going on for some time. You likely have already done your research, heard from school and had advice from well-meaning others. It can feel like a bit of a minefield. The reality is you are searching because you want to help your child get the support they need to be the best version of themselves, now and for the future. That support often starts with, or can even require, an evidence-based multi-disciplinary autism assessment and diagnosis. Our team have many years experience in specialist autism services in the NHS. They offer a gold-standard comprehensive assessment privately using the most up-to-date tools and findings.

Further or ongoing support

Our focus is on helping your child, and on helping you to steer them along their way as they continue to develop. The process of growing up is full of challenges, but also opportunities. We are here whether your child has an official diagnosis or not, to help guide you both along that path. We work with our extended team of specialist child and adolescent clinical psychologists several of whom are experienced at offering therapy to children and young people with autism. We can offer specific ‘blocks’ of sessions around a particular tricky time or we can see you on a more ad-hoc basis as the need arises to pre-empt important transitions (e.g. the move to secondary school) or migrate skills previously learnt to newer situations as your child ages.

What’s involved

We use National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines to provide a multi-disciplinary autism assessment, using direct observation of your child’s behaviour and information from those individuals who know your child well, including you as parents.

  • Stage 1 - The assessment process will start with a screening telephone call lasting an hour, from one of our Clinicians. This screening process will help us to understand your child’s difficulties and whether we feel a full autism assessment is required. If not, we will discuss this with you.
  • Stage 2 - Should we feel that your child does require a full autism assessment, we will seek information from nursery or school, and conduct a formal interview with you.
  • Stage 3 - A formal observation of your child will also take place, using an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second edition (ADOS-2). This is likely to take place in our clinic and may last up to an hour.
  • Stage 4 - Should we require further information, we may also conduct an observation of your child either in their nursery setting or at school (depending on your child’s age).
  • Stage 5 - The team will meet to discuss the information collated, and a decision will be made as to whether your child meets the criteria for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Stage 6 - You will be invited to attend a feedback session with both Dr Nikkita Osiadacz and Melissa Dean to discuss the assessment findings and to think about recommendations for your child and support going forwards.
  • Stage 7 - A full report of the assessment and findings will be produced.

Ongoing support and check-ins

Our support and involvement does not need to end when the assessment is over. We are fortunate to have a team of additional specialist child and adolescent clinical psychologists working right here with us who can join to offer individualised support for your child or family either straight after the assessment or at helpful times in the future (or both). We are your back-up support as time goes by, using our in-depth familiarity with your child and your family to help navigate future challenges and opportunities. Meaning you don’t need to start from scratch.

Fees

Initial Screening Appointment: £120

Full Autism Assessment: £1,800

Adult Autism assessment and support

Adults

Understanding, validating and embracing diversity

The adult world is a different landscape to the one most of us experience in childhood; more complex and far less structured. Interpersonal interactions become key, both in our working and personal lives. Adults also have to adapt more often to changes in routine or structure. For some, these changes start to illuminate a personal diversity that was previously ‘masked’. Others tell us they have always been aware of diversity, but for all sorts of reasons it was never formally identified, or supported. Confusion about who we are, about relationships with others and, especially, about why we experience strong (and often challenging) emotions can lead to psychological problems – we can feel down, anxious and experience low self-esteem. It can be difficult to carve out a path that enables us to be our best selves.

Many clients have told us that a diagnosis has been a key part of validating their experience, helping them understand and accept the person they are, and enabling them to make positive choices about how they move forward in life.

Our team have many years’ experience in specialist Autism services in the NHS. We offer a gold-standard comprehensive private assessment using the most up-to-date psychometric tools and findings.

What’s Involved

We work routinely in all our assessments to help clients move forward with recommendations, supporting them to make changes in their lives that will foster positive mental health. Our goal is to help clients embrace and maximise their strengths, while making it easier to face the challenges that come their way. Some clients like to continue to see us, either regularly or on a more ad-hoc basis as the need arises, so we can continue to support them as they go, both generally and around specific challenges or events. Our autism team are closely linked to our wider team of adult therapists who can be called upon should the need arise.

Moving forward

We use National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines to provide an autism assessment and diagnosis. It is comprehensive, taking into account all the factors that could impact an individual’s experience and presentation.

Stage 1 – Autism Screen A 90-minute appointment during which we explore the difficulties you experience in depth. We provide feedback and think together with you whether an Autism assessment would be helpful. If so, we use the information from the screen and progress to the additional steps below:

A full Autism assessment usually consists of 5 steps:

  • Step 1 - Meeting with you to learn more about your life experiences, and the challenges and difficulties that you face.
  • Step 2 - Interviewing someone who knows you well and can comment on your day-to-day presentation.
  • Step 3 - We administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), an formalised instrument for assessing Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
  • Step 4 - The clinician who assessed you discusses all the information gathered with the larger multi-disciplinary team which helps make diagnostic decisions more reliable.
  • Step 5 - Report and feedback: we produce a comprehensive diagnostic report summarising the assessment and the outcome. The report also includes full recommendations for you (and, if helpful, for those who know you, such as family members, employers, colleagues, university staff as applicable). We meet with you to go over the report in detail.

Ongoing support and check-ins

You can decide to have further sessions with our team to work through the implementation of the recommendations and/or for support in psychological therapy if you would find that helpful.

Fees

Initial Screening Appointment: £240

Full Autism Assessment: £1,680

Find your practitioner

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Opening times

Monday - Saturday

(by appointment only)

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Our address

23 Prospect Street, Caversham,

Reading, Berkshire, RG4 8JB