Team Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder for all ages - what does it involve?

A diagnostic assessment at Headstart involves a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of behaviour, development and history in an attempt to determine whether an individual meets the criteria for a diagnosis or if there are any other alternative explanations for the presenting behaviours. Headstart clinicians do this through structured interviews, direct observation of behaviour, and standardised clinical assessment tools. On some occasions, observations at childcare/school are necessary.

The interview and assessment tools used will vary depending upon the age of the individual and their history. A diagnostic assessment for a young child would generally involve asking the child’s parents/carers specific questions about a range of relevant areas while also engaging the child in structured play and tasks to observe their behaviour. Diagnosis involving an adult will involve an interview with the adult client and any significant other (e.g. partner, parent), where possible. Formal testing of intellectual ability and /or communicative ability may also be included in any assessment if required to assess functioning and exclude alternative explanations for the behaviour.

If a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder is given the individual may be able to register with Autism SA.  To be eligible for registration with Autism SA, a diagnosis must be agreed upon by two professionals from different disciplines. At Headstart, we offer a Team diagnostic assessment which means you will have the assessment with both a psychologist and a speech pathologist at the same time. It is a three hour process which is split down into two 1.5 hour sessions. The fee is $1400 and if an appropriate referral has been put in place by a GP or Paediatrician you may be entitled to Medicare rebates.