A Supportive Approach
Our diagnostic service is there to support young patients who may have a disorder on the autism spectrum. A term which brings in conditions such as Rett syndrome, or Keller’s syndrome.
The need is however to understand the unique position of each child, how their development and their life may be affected.
Diagnosis at our Banbury clinic is available for children aged 4 to 16. This is normally carried out by Dr Ranjini Mohan, a consultant paediatrician and Sadia Hussain, our speech and language therapist, who bring an ideal mix of specialist experience.
The cost of complete Autism diagnosis assessment is £1395.. This will however be an in depth study and along with understanding the current effect on a child’s life, is a valuable aid to moving forward.
What The Assessment Includes
Along with wider monitoring from our team, three core elements contribute to an autism assessment:
Input from your child’s school:
At an early stage, a questionnaire will be emailed to you to forward to your child’s school, who return the completed questionnaire to us via email.
Contributions from parents, or carers:
Our consultant will meet with a child’s parent, or carer, a 30 to 45 minute developmental interview recommended by NICE guidelines, which your child is not involved in. The meeting can be by Zoom if you prefer, or in person on the day of the assessment.
A dedicated session with your child:
An observational assessment of your child, with our speech & language therapist and consultant paediatrician. The assessment tool used during this appointment is called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS-2).
ADOS-2 is an activity based assessment, which helps to evaluate communication skills and social interaction. Materials are used imaginatively and the assessment can be play based for younger children, or use tasks suited to teenage years.
This takes between 45 and 60 minutes, parents can be present if they wish, although they are not part of the process.
Feedback For Parents or Carers
The team carrying out your child’s diagnosis will have had a diagnostic meeting, to review input from the school, from you, the activity based assessment and other observation.
A feedback session is the next step, which usually lasts about 30 minutes and allows the team to discuss their findings with the child’s parents or carers. Whether your child is present or not is your decision.
A written report will follow, which explains the diagnostic outcome in detail. A copy can be forwarded to your child’s school, or GP if desired.
Genetic Testing – The objective of the diagnostic assessment is to be definitive. Genetic testing is not the same as diagnosis, neither is there one autism gene.
A range of genetic differences do however indicate increased risk and may be identified by an Array CGH blood test. This is considered to be the most effective test for patients presenting with developmental issues.
There is an additional cost of £800 for a genetic test, at a specialist laboratory. Your consultant will discuss whether this is worthwhile after assessment, genetic tests can offer helpful information on approaches to treatment.
Cognitive Assessment – This is an off site service provided by Oxfordshire Child Psychology in Bicester, at a cost of £500 payable to them.
Intellectual ability and unusual strengths, or weaknesses can be identified. This knowledge can help with treatment and planning the future. Your consultant will again discuss with you whether this is a useful option.
Not Included In Diagnosis
Whilst having both conditions is possible, ADHD assessment is not part of autism diagnosis. Neither is an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) provided, although the medical report can be used for this if required.
Written guides on sensory processing difficulties, feeding issues and sleep difficulties will be made available during the initial assessment. You also have an opportunity to discuss medical points.
Post diagnosis support is however separate from the assessment. If required, a consultant appointment can be made at our Banbury clinic, to discuss sleep, gut issues, nutritional difficulties, or other medical needs.
Once assessment is complete, the objective is to create the most effective plan for your child to move forward. There could be a need to refer them to a separate service, such as occupational therapy, or for further treatment at our clinic.