Autism Diagnostic Assessment
What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction, as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities. Although an individual’s presentation may change over time, symptoms must be present in the early developmental period and cause significant impairment in functioning or development.
How do you diagnose Autism?
Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder involves a detailed assessment in collaboration with your family Paediatrician. At Sultan, Broderick & Associates, assessment involves a number sessions over a 3-4 week period:
Initial session with parents for a detailed clinical interview and administration of questionnaire measures (2hrs)
Observational session with the child and primary caregiver for administration of an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule assessment (2hrs)
A phone call with daycare/school teacher and/or school observation
Feedback session and formal report to parents (1hr).
Although a referral is not required, it is recommended that families be linked in with a Paediatrician prior to assessment to allow for efficient consultation regarding both behavioural and medical factors of diagnosis. Sultan, Broderick & Associates can also recommend a local Paediatrician to involve in this process if required.
What is the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2)?
The ADOS-2 is considered to be the “gold standard” observation based assessment tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is a standardised assessment tool comprising a series of social and play-based activities and is designed to provide a child with a range of opportunities for a clinician to observe difficulties with communication, imagination or play skills that a child may display. As such, this assessment forms a key part of determining whether the child’s current presentation is consistent with the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The ADOS-2 consists of five modules to accommodate different levels of expressive language ability of the child. For young children, the primary caregiver will remain in the room throughout the assessment; however, for older children, the assessment is conducted without the parent present.
For more information or to schedule an assessment, please feel free to contact us directly.