Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental condition that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people.
The condition is estimated to affect about 1 in 100 people and appears to be increasing. No-one is sure why, but it is possible that better diagnosis and awareness may be partly responsible.
At PHC, we offer diagnosis and therapies for children and adults who may be on the “Autism Spectrum”.
Please note that we require a referral from a paediatrician or a psychiatrist before offering a full assessment. This is because the paediatrician/psychiatrist needs to rule out other health problems that can look like ASD. If you are concerned that you or a family member may have ASD, or if you haven’t yet been seen by a paediatrician or psychiatrist and want to know if you should go and see one, we can advise you following a “pre-assessment session” with our Clinical Psychologist, Dr Natalie Taylor.
Once you have the referral, we can go right ahead and organise the ASD assessment for you. Our assessments are based on best-practice guidelines. In WA, assessments for ASD must include the following practitioners:
- Clinical Psychologist
- Speech Pathologist
- Paediatrician (or a psychiatrist can be involved instead if the child is over 12 years)
- Clinical Psychologist
For a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder to be determined, once the paediatrician/psychiatrist has confirmed that it is indicated, a full assessment is undertaken comprising of the following four elements.
1. Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
This is a direct assessment of a person’s social and communication skills.
2. Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADIR)
This is a diagnostic interview with parents/caregivers. It looks at symptoms of ASD across the lifespan, including early developmental history, which are required factors in the diagnosis of Autism.
3. Vineland III
This assessment looks at how current difficulties effect everyday functioning and proves the effect on the person’s ability to function.
4. Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI-II or WISC-V, whichever is deemed more appropriate)
This is a Cognitive Assessment to determine IQ scoring, which checks whether there are any difficulties with the person’s thinking skills.
Should you decide to proceed with booking an assessment with us it would take place on a Thursday at our Dianella office and can usually be organised to take place within a few weeks.
We would require a copy of the report/referral from your psychiatrist, if one was available, along with any other information you could provide which could assist Dr Taylor in her assessment.
Psychological Health Care has experienced clinicians who can work with your whole family, children and adults, separately or together, to offer support which is specifically suited to your individual needs. For example, we can help with issues such as anxiety, depression, social skills and behaviour. Individuals with ASD are more likely to experience mental health problems due to the many challenges of living with ASD and therapy can be beneficial to the person and their family.
Please contact us on 9275-9406 if you have any questions about ASD assessment/therapy or if you would like to book in to see one of our clinicians.