Autism Assessment for Adults (16+)
- A collaborative approach is taken to the assessment where Anne Marie works with the person to find evidence across the lifespan that will support the diagnostic process.
- Evidence is gathered through interview with the person being assessed.
- Evidence of early childhood development is gathered from an individual who knew the person in early childhood, either through interview or questionnaire.
- Assessment can still be completed for someone who does not have access to an early childhood informant.
- Anne Marie recognises that many females with undiagnosed autism camouflage the extent of their true difficulties and that diagnostic decision making can be informed by the person’s thinking and not be based solely on demonstrable behaviours.
A Step-by-step guide to the process
Step 1 - Contact made via website
Step 2 - Telephone consultation arranged to discuss aspects of the assessment:-
- Why are you seeking a diagnostic assessment at this time?
Most often this is reported as:
- “In order to understand my self better”
- “To develop a greater sense of self”
- “To give validation to how I feel”
- “My child has a diagnosis, and I can identfy a great many similarities- to have a diagnosis would help me understand and help them better”
- “I have always considered myself autistic, but now, in order to have adaptations to my work environment, I need a formal diagnosis”
For me, it is imperative, that if you invest in a private diagnostic assessment, then it must meet your goals and expectations of what benefits a diagnosis can bring for you.
In some instances, those with ASD find telephone calls difficult and in this instance a series of emails will gather the information above.
Step 3 - Completion of an Early Developmental Questionnaire
ASD is a lifelong condition, and therefore when giving a diagnosis, the clinician must ensure there is lifelong evidence of ASD.
The questionnaire is best completed by someone who knew you well as a baby and young child. Typically, this would be a parent, aunt, uncle or older sibling.
If you do not have anyone to provide this information, then I ask that the person themselves completes the questionnaire to the best of their knowledge.
Step 4 - Evaluation of the questionnaire
This questionnaire, when reviewed by an experienced clinician, is highly reliable in indicting if it is likely that the person will, after assessment meet the clinical criteria for an ASD.
I would be reticent in completing a private diagnostic assessment, where I would think it highly improbable that the person would reach diagnostic caseness. In reviewing the questionnaire, the fact that behaviours consistent with ASD are often not noticeable until later in life, is taken into account.
Masking and camouflaging difficulties can begin very early and home circumstances can influence the parental reporting.
Step 5 - Telephone discussion regarding outcome of evaluation of questionnaire
Questionnaire is discussed and the probability of reaching diagnostic caseness is communicated.
Step 6 - Arrangements made for diagnostic assessment
Typically dates are arranged within 1 month of evaluation of questionnaire and can be arranged Monday – Saturday.
Appointment letter sent with invoice, to be paid 7 days prior to assessment date.
Step 7 - Assessment completed in 4-6 hours
Outcome of the assessment is communicated with the individual at the time of the assessment.