*Please note my waiting list is currently closed to new referrals*
I offer Autism Spectrum assessments for adults in Bristol and online. Many people identify more with the term Asperger’s, which is now used less diagnostically but still has meaning for people.
I have found that often people seeking an assessment have felt misunderstood, not believed or sidelined at times during their lives. Therefore I can reassure you that I will believe what you tell me. The aim of the assessment is to help understand yourself better within the framework of neurodiversity. Sometimes a person’s qualities do not fit neatly into one diagnostic category, but this does not diminish the differences the person experiences and there are still many routes to finding the right support.
As a Clinical Psychologist, I can consider whether elements of ADHD, Dyslexia or Dyspraxia may be part of the picture. Many people who are Autistic have experienced difficult life events such as bullying and trauma, or have been sometimes (mis) diagnosed with other mental health conditions, which we can also take into consideration and review.
What are Autism Spectrum Conditions?
Characteristics of the autism spectrum are part of the rich diversity of the human mind. There have been shifts in recent years towards embracing each person’s attributes and uniqueness. Assessments help identify strengths and skills, as well as suggesting adaptations and strategies to help the person cope with stressful aspects of daily life and work towards their own goals.
Every individual is different and will have many strengths and skills, but the term means that a person has difficulty in the following key areas:
* Spoken communication – making conversation, and understanding what other people say and mean
* Non spoken communication – body language, eye contact, facial expressions
* Understanding the complexities of social relationships
* Finding change difficult, very fixed interests, and can be extra sensitive to the senses such as sound.
The assessment process follows NICE best practice guidance in the same way as the NHS. It uses standardised assessment tools and multi-disciplinary diagnostic decision making. If you cannot come in to the clinic in Bristol, I also carry out assessments online using a validated and adapted protocol.
The assessment process involves:
- Initial discussion about the reasons for seeking the assessment, gathering background information and to complete a screening to check the full assessment is appropriate.
- A social communication assessment called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS 2). This takes the form of a semi-structured conversation.
- If possible, gathering information from another source. Ideally this includes a telephone conversation with a parent or relative to gather information about your early developmental milestones and social interaction using a standardised interview. If this is not possible, I can speak with somebody else such as a partner, friend, colleague or therapist, or can review relevant paperwork such as school reports or medical letters.
- I consult with an experienced Speech and Language Therapist who is trained in using the ADOS 2. With permission she watches a video of your ADOS 2 to give specialist feedback on your use of language and communication.
- We meet around 2 weeks after the assessment for a feedback session to discuss the outcome and next steps. Following this I will send you a copy of the assessment report.
Adult Autism Spectrum assessments are £1200 in total for the assessment, feedback session and written report.
Formal assessment of additional conditions such as ADHD would incur an additional cost.
If preferred, an initial one hour consultation session and screening is £150, which is deducted from the total price if we decide to go ahead with a full assessment.
You may be able to fund the assessment using health insurance. I am registered with all major providers including Bupa and AXA. You can also speak with your further education provider who may be able to advise on support with fees.
For more information please contact me.
There is also helpful information on the National Autistic Society website: www.autism.org.uk