Autism Assessment Package

What is Autism?

Autism 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. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised in impairments in two key areas;

Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction:

  • abnormal social approach and one-way communication
  • reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect
  • a lack of interest in social relationships
  • abnormal eye contact and non-verbal communication
  • a lack of facial expressions
  • difficulties in imaginative play or making friends

Restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours

  • repetitive motor movements such as flapping hands
  • lines up toys, insists on “sameness”
  • adheres to strict routines and insists on “sameness”
  • copes poorly with change in routine
  • fixated interests with intense focus and preoccupation with objects.

The DSM-5 criteria for ASD identifies persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities across multiple contexts such as home or school either current or historical.

In reality what parents or teachers may observe may include the following:

  • abnormal eye contact
  • not using gestures
  • abnormal volume, pitch, intonation, rhythm
  • repetitive speech i.e. echolalia, jargon, formal language, gibberish
  • non-functional play with objects, lining up objects, playing with parts of a toy
  • reduced sharing of interests – for example, they might not point to an object or event to share it
  • failure of back and forth conversation
  • absence of interests in others
  • difficulties making friends
  • difficulty taking another person’s perspective
  • repetitive motor movements such as hand flapping, toe-walking, unusual posturing
  • an obsession with favourite objects and topics
  • narrow range of interests
  • odd responses to sensory input i.e. sensitive to noise or lights
  • excessive resistance to change
  • adherence to routine, resulting in anxiety or stress if deviates

This package may be of benefit to your child if you have observed numerous behaviours from the above list.

What does the Assessment for Autism Involve?

Best practice research suggests that a comprehensive autism assessment involves gathering information about a child’s communication, social skills, interests and behaviour across several settings often this includes home and school environments.

  • Structured Clinical Parent Interview parent Interview 1.5 – 2 hours
  • 1 hour to 2 hr – child behaviour observation of child (ADOS) and or other tools
  • (optional) 2-hour cognitive testing using WISC-IV $650 (*if required – school may be able to do this at no charge).
  • Collateral information and questionnaires sent to kindergarten/school
  • Kindergarten/School Observation 1 hour (where required)
  • Comprehensive report with test results and diagnostic recommendations
  • 1 hour feedback session with Parents