Autism Assessment Clinic @ Kidspace

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) describes a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by a) deficits in social communication and b) repetitive/ restricted behaviours and interests, present from the early developmental period.

The Autism Assessment Clinic @ Kidspace offers a unique model of assessing for ASD, which involves the expert opinion of a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, as well as a behaviour observation and parent interview conducted by a Child & Adolescent Psychologist.

 

What assessment tools are used?

  • Psychiatric Assessment: A comprehensive assessment is first conducted by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, who will be able to advise whether he or she recommends further testing for ASD

 

  • Child Observation: The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Second Edition (ADOS-2) is a behaviour observation, where the assessing clinician will be interested in how your child interacts with him or her (i.e., an unfamiliar adult). The ADOS-2 is considered the most reliable diagnostic instrument designed to assess for ASD

 

  • Parent Interview: The Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R) is a clinical interview conducted with parents in order to assist in diagnosing ASD and distinguishing ASD from other developmental disorders

 

  • Supplementary Assessments: At the time of the Psychiatric Assessment, extra assessments may be recommended if clinically indicated (e.g., intellectual assessment, ADHD assessment)

 

What does the assessment process involve?

Our recommended assessment structure is presented below:

 

Option 1

Component Relevant Clinical Staff Who should attend Typical time frame
Psychiatric Assessment Psychiatrist Parent & Child 1 – 1.5 hours
Child Observation (ADOS-2) Psychologist Parent & Child 40 minutes – 1 hour
Parent Interview (ADI-R) Psychologist Parent 2 hours
Scoring, interpretation, and report preparation Psychologist N/A 3 – 4 hours
Psychiatric Review: Discuss diagnostic decision and treatment planning Psychiatrist Parent & Child 1 hour

 

While we highly recommend that you obtain a psychiatrist’s expert opinion in addition to the child observation and parent interview, below is an alternative assessment structure should you not wish to consult with a psychiatrist.

 

Option 2

Component Relevant Clinical Staff Who should attend Typical time frame
Child Observation (ADOS-2) Psychologist Parent & Child 40 minutes – 1 hour
Parent Interview (ADI-R) Psychologist Parent 2 hours
Scoring, interpretation, and report preparation Psychologist N/A 3 – 4 hours
Feedback session: Discuss findings, interpretations, diagnostic decision and recommendations Psychologist Parent 1 hour

 

Other FAQs

 How will my child benefit from an autism assessment?

An autism assessment can help children, parents, teachers (and other significant individuals in a child’s life) better understand a child’s unique profile of strengths and difficulties, including why a child may be displaying unusual behaviours, interests or experiencing social/ communication difficulties. Autism assessments can also help parents, teachers and other professionals develop individually tailored plans to support a child’s communication skills, socialization and behavioural difficulties (if relevant).

 

Can a diagnosis of ASD potentially help us access funding?

Yes, once a child is formally diagnosed with ASD, parents may be eligible to access government funding (e.g., Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) program) and school-based funding for special support within the classroom.

 

How do the autism assessments offered at Kidspace differ from other clinics?

Our unique multidisciplinary team of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and Psychologists provides families access to highly comprehensive autism assessments that involves a Psychiatrist’s expert opinion on diagnosis and treatment planning in addition to the child observation and parent interview conducted by a psychologist. Most other clinics do not provide a psychiatrist’s diagnostic opinion and recommendation as to treatment planning. Additionally, many clinics offer a child observation (ADOS-2) but not a parent interview (ADI-R) and/or liaison with schools. At Kidspace, we believe it is best practice to base clinical interpretations on multiple sources of information.

 

What is the cost of an autism assessment?

As the assessment process can vary from child to child, please contact us to find out an approximate cost. Fees will differ depending on whether you decide to go with Option 1 or 2.

 

Can I claim some of the cost back through medicare?

If your child is referred for an autism assessment by a developmental physician (i.e., paediatrician or child psychiatrist), you may be eligible for rebates.