What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental condition which affects an individuals’ social communication and social interaction (amongst other things). Asperger’s Disorder is the former name of ASD and refers to people who have intact intellectual skills but primarily have difficulties with their social functioning.
Autism assessments are available for adolescents and adults (16 years and above). The assessment has several stages and is quite detailed. The reason for this is to understand you (or your child) as fully as possible. The assessment includes the use of gold standard assessment tools by a senior clinical neuropsychologist, in order to assist in determining the diagnosis. For an adult seeking the diagnosis, this will be the most accurate if a family member or caregiver who knew you when you were young (around the age of 5) can also be available to answer questions. This would typically be your parents, but may include close aunts or uncles, grandparents or an older sibling. In line with best practice, some individuals may also need to see a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist in order to provide an additional opinion, so that we get it right. This will be discussed at the time of booking.
The stages for the assessment include
- Pre-assessment – Completion of a series of questionnaires by both the individual and your parent/care giver.
- In clinic assessment – This will be between one and three sessions, depending on how much you (or your child) can manage each day. The assessment uses gold standard tools of autism assessment as well as tests of cognitive functioning.
- Developmental interview with parent / caregiver
- Teachers – If the patient is still at school, with your consent, I will interview their teachers and have them complete questionnaires.
- Additional information – you will need to bring all previous reports you have such as paediatrician, psychology, speech pathology, occupational therapy, school reports and NAPLANs.
- Feedback Session
- The feedback session(s) is designed to be educational and strengths based. The perspective taken at our practice is that autism is a “difference” in thinking and therefore feedback and education is focused on what this means for you, and how those around you can support you to flourish.
- This will provide an opinion on whether the DSM-5/DSM-5-TR criteria are met for ASD. If criteria are met and the report is for an NDIS application, then the report will be written to support this application. A Severity Level will also be given if funding is going to be requested
- Other recommendations can also be addressed based on the referral question.
Please contact the clinic for pricing. Pricing depends on detail requested and there are multiple price points. Factors which influence price include
- Whether a report is required
- Whether there is an NDIS application being made
- Whether there are additional diagnoses you are wanting to explore (e.g. AD/HD)
- The NDIS also does not fund assessments for diagnostic purposes, therefore an ASD assessment cannot be claimed through NDIS. It can be used for supporting an application for NDIA. Please let us know in advance if this is your goal.
Autism assessments are conducted at Ultimo Clinic.
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University of Sydney
At Mind Plasticity, we are committed to advancing the field of mental health through research partnerships with leading universities. Mind Plasticity has a long-standing partnership with the University of Sydney and has hosted a number of research trials and participated in academic partnerships.
How to access Mind Plasticity mental health services? The frequently asked questions page has information on what you require to make an appointment with us; plus descriptions of the roles of our practitioners.