Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are lifelong developmental conditions that affect approximately 1 in 100 children. The common areas of difficulty for children with ASD include communication, socialisation, sensory activities, and restricted or repetitive behaviours, interests or activities. The severity and extent to which a child’s daily functioning is affected can range from mild to severe.
The current diagnosis of ASD as specified by the DSM-V includes what was previously known as Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified.
The assessment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder can be beneficial in:
Current research suggests that the earlier a child is accurately diagnosed with ASD and starts effective tailored support programs and interventions, the better the developmental outcomes for the child.
The diagnosis of ASD requires a comprehensive assessment process and involves gathering information from a range of sources. The aim is to gather insight into a child’s strengths and weaknesses – in particular around their social interactions, communication skills and demonstration of any atypical behaviours or interests.
This information can typically be obtained by administering standardised assessment tools, conducting a developmental history interview with parents, observing the child in their home and/or school environment, and/or conducting a teacher phone consult. While ASD is typically diagnosed in early childhood, the assessment process can be undertaken at any age. Our psychologists are specifically trained in assessing individuals with ASD and are qualified to make a diagnosis.
We currently use the gold-standard Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule- Second Edition (ADOS - 2) which has been rated as the most reliable diagnostic tool recognised by international ASD experts. The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a gold-standard, structured parent interview that assists in the reliable diagnosis of ASD.
Assessment tools can also include: