Autism Spectrum Australia

Frequently asked questions

 

Which assessment should I choose?

My Early Development assessments are for very young children (under 2 years) where parents are concerned about their developmental progress. This assessment provides information about the child’s functioning across all developmental areas and also determines whether or not early signs of autism are present. Read more about My Early Development assessments.

The purpose of the Autism Assessment is to determine whether an individual meets criteria for autism and to provide information about their presentation and support needs. This assessment is suitable for individuals who have never been diagnosed with autism before or where there has been conflicting opinions expressed by professionals and clarification is sought. Autism Assessments can be used to assist in applications for funding (e.g. NDIS eligibility, Disability Support Pension, school supports) and include information to assist with support planning. Read more about Autism Assessments

My Support Profile is a review assessment for an individual previously diagnosed with autism. These assessments are very useful at times of transition e.g. when commencing primary school or high school or post-school planning) or to assist in applications for funding (e.g. NDIS eligibility, Disability Support Pension, school supports). They are designed to provide updated information about an individual’s strengths and challenges and include recommendations to assist with support planning. Read more about My Support Profile

My Skills assessments are specific assessments across a range of developmental areas including speech and language, motor skills, sensory difficulties, play skills and cognitive skills (IQ).  These assessments can also be combined with any of the assessments outlined above if required and provide additional information to assist with support planning. Read more about My Skills assessments

 

What additional information is provided in a full report?

Autism assessments include provision of a written summary report with recommendations. A summary report includes:

  • Results of all assessment instruments

  • Diagnosis including description of current symptoms and strengths

  • Severity Level

  • General recommendations

There is an option for a full report which contains all of the information in the summary report and some additional information, i.e:

  • Summary of family, medical and developmental history

  • Summary of previous interventions

  • Full record of information obtained from assessment instruments

  • Appendix outlining tailored recommendations i.e. strengths and support needs across functional areas for NDIS planning purposes

A full report is highly recommended for second opinion assessments (i.e. where there has been some conflicting opinions in the past) and where there are any complicating factors (individual has other disabilities or mental health problems; complex family backgrounds).

 

How is autism diagnosed?

The aim of the diagnostic assessment (Autism Assessment) is to determine whether an individual meets criteria for autism and to provide information about their presentation and support needs.

The diagnostic process includes assessment of social and communication skills, and restricted and repetitive interests and stereotyped patterns of behaviour.

The diagnostic assessment includes:

  • a comprehensive parent interview using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)
  • formal observation using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition (ADOS 2)
  • Assessment of adaptive functioning (everyday living skills and independence)
  • information from preschool or school staff
  • informal observation in natural settings  such as preschool and school, if required (additional fees apply)
  • a feedback session outlining the assessment outcomes, including an opportunity for questioning  and clarification
  • recommendations for services that will best serve the individual needs of the person receiving the diagnosis
  • summary report within one month of the assessment date (full reports are also available at an additional cost)

For someone who has autism, a diagnosis can help them and those close to them to understand the behaviours that were isolating, confusing and often upsetting.

Young children who are diagnosed with autism are able to access the types of services that can significantly improve their prospects for a meaningful life (early intervention). Adolescents and adults, who may have disguised or compensated for their communication or other impairments prior to the diagnosis, are able to access services that will support their ability to interact socially, improve their employment opportunities and their ability to have meaningful relationships.

Review assessments (My Support Profile) are conducted for individuals already diagnosed with autism where current information is required e.g. at times of transition, to support funding applications, to access the NDIS.

My Support Profile includes:

  • formal observation using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition (ADOS 2)
  • interview with parents/carers
  • information from preschool or school staff via questionnaire or phone interview (where applicable)
  • assessment of adaptive functioning (everyday living and independence skills)
  • recommendations for intervention and follow up
  • written report within one month of the assessment date

A cognitive assessment (IQ test) can also be included.

Who will conduct the assessment?

Where is the assessment conducted?

How do I refer myself or my child to Aspect Assessments?

Do I need a referral letter?

What is the cost for an assessment?

Can I get a rebate on the cost of the assessment?

How long will I have to wait for an assessment?

What will happen after the assessment?

What if I have further questions after I receive the report?

 

Who will conduct the assessment?

At Aspect, Autism Assessments and My Support Profiles are conducted by Clinical Psychologists and Psychologists with experience and post-graduate training in the diagnosis of autism. My Skills assessments are conducted by speech pathologist, psychologists and occupational therapists with experience working with individuals with autism.

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Where is the assessment conducted?

Aspect Assessments has locations in Frenchs Forest, Bondi Junction, Wetherill Park, Camden, Corrimal, Thornton (Hunter area) and Alstonville (Far North Coast). We can also conduct assessments in schools in the Sydney Metropolitan area, Central Coast, Wollongong and Nepean/Blue Mountains. Read more about our locations and school visits here. 

How do I refer myself or my child to Aspect Assessments?

You can refer yourself or your child to the service by completing the Aspect Assessments Intake Form

Do I need a referral letter?

It is not necessary to have a formal referral letter from a medical doctor to access Aspect assessment services. However, a referral letter from a private Paediatrician or Child Psychiatrist is essential if you want to claim a Medicare rebate for the assessment (see below for further information on eligibility).

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What is the cost for an assessment?

Fees vary according to the type of assessment.  Please refer to the fee schedule.

Can I get a rebate on the cost of the assessment?

People with private health insurance may be eligible for a rebate from their provider and should contact them for further details. Children under 13 who are referred to Aspect for an autism assessment by a private Paediatrician or Child Psychiatrist are eligible for a partial rebate through Medicare under the Helping Children with Autism Package (approx. $340.00). If you are planning to apply for a rebate through Medicare a written referral letter from the private Paediatrician or Child Psychiatrist must be provided to Aspect prior to the day of assessment.

How long will I have to wait for an assessment?

The length of waiting lists varies, usually from 2 to 4 weeks.

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What will happen after the assessment?

Within a month of the assessment day, a  report is provided to the client/parents/ carers as well as the referring agency/practitioner. The report includes recommendations and referral to appropriate agencies/service providers.

What if I have further questions after I receive the report?

At the end of the feedback session, or upon receiving the written report, you may have further questions for the clinician. If this is the case, you should always contact the clinician again, and have your queries addressed. Sometimes it can be hard to take in all of the information provided at once, so don't hesitate to contact the clinician if you need to.

Click here for further information on other diagnostic services.

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Frequently asked questions