Diagnosis

We offer autism assessment in Oxfordshire at our home, Thomley and virtually to ensure assessments are accessible to all. All our autism assessments are NICE compliant, and we use the ‘Gold Standard’ (ADOS-2*and ADI-R) for all our assessments along with other screening and assessments tools along the way. This means the assessment should be accepted by your Local Authority and the NHS, however it is always worth checking before paying for a private assessment.

All our assessments are completed over 3 appointments as below.

  • Family History and Early Development.

This is completed with parent(s) or if an adult assessment themselves and someone who knew them well in childhood. This looks at the wider family history as well as early development and milestones. We will also complete a overview of education and if an adult employment.

  • ADOS-2* informed observation assessment.

The ADOS-2 is a standardised, semi-structured observational assessment used to assess communication, reciprocal social interaction, imagination/creativity, stereotyped behaviours, and restricted interests to inform diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition. *Due to PPE requirements as set out by COVID-19 guidance or if we are completing the assessment remotely, we do not calculate the scores from this assessment but use the information gather inform diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition. This is inline with the approach occurring nationally within diagnostic services. This assessment is completed with the young person or adults we are assessing independently from their caregiver where possible.

·       The Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) is an extended interview designed to elicit a full range of information needed to help assess and diagnose Autistic Spectrum Condition.  The interview focuses primarily on the three domains specified as diagnostic criteria in the ICD-10 and DSM-IV; language and communication; reciprocal social interaction and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped behaviours and interests (behaviours which are rare in non-affected individuals).  This assessment is completed with parent(s) as there is a great focus on the 4-5 years age period.

If assessing an adult that does not have a parent(s) to support the assessment or they wish for them not to be involved, we can use the RAADS-R as an alternative to the ADI-R. We used the RAADS-R (Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised: Ritvo et al 2010) remotely, which is a validated tool to assist the diagnosis of autistic adults but can also be useful in identifying other conditions.

Once the assessment has been completed, we will then meet as a Multi Displinary Team (MDT) which consists of one of our Clinical Psychologists, the assessing clinicians and peer support practitioner, to compare the information we have gather against the DSM-IV (diagnostic manual) to determine if Autism Spectrum Condition best describes the persons differences, preferences, strengths and needs.

One of the team will give you a call the day after the MDT meet (this date will be provided to you at the beginning of the process but is typically 4 weeks after your assessment appointment) and we then aim to share a draft of the medical report within a few days following this.

We will then book a feedback session in to discuss any questions around the report, or recommendations we have provided and confirmed any factual accuracy checks before finalising the report.

The medical report is then shared with the person and the GP, and if a diagnosis is provided, we will provide an accessible strength-based report, and our peer support practitioners will write to the individual personally.

Throughout the process there will be a minimum of 2 clinicians involved and our peer support practitioners will be in regular contact throughout the process, to provide debriefs, and check in on yours as a parent or if adult assessment the individual themselves wellbeing, as we know the process can be emotive for some and emotionally challenging.

Cost of assessment £1500, to try and make this more accessible to people we offer payments by 3 instalments spread over the assessment process or 1 instalment after the Family History and Early development appointment has been completed.

We may recommend additional assessments for example, Speech and Language or Occupational Therapy assessment as appropriate, but we will discuss this with you before going ahead.

Assessing Profiles of Autism Spectrum Condition.

We get lots of enquiries about our experience of assessing the various profiles of Autism Spectrum Condition, for example female presentation, Savant or PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance). During all Autism assessments completed with a young person or adult, we consider the various profiles and how this might present. For example, in the ADOS-2 informed observational assessment, we will be assessing how someone respond to interaction demands or make what we call ‘presses’ to determine if someone is camouflaging.

Our team have extensive experience in assessing all the various profiles including PDA and will always follow NICE guidance and make recommendations based on needs and individuals’ strengths. At present autistic profiles are not within the DSM-IV (diagnostic manual) as sperate diagnoses and therefore we consider these as profiles.