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Mind Professionals
1 Stow Court
Stow Road, Stow-Cum-Quy
Cambridge CB25 9AS
T: +44 [0]1223 813838
F: +44 [0]1223 812046
E: enquiries@mindprofessionals.com

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Autism
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> What Autism-specific tools do we use?
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Our Services
> Autism Diagnosis
>> Multidisciplinary Gold Standard Assessments
>> Waiting times for NHS Assessments
>> Is a private diagnosis recognised?
>> What Autism-specific tools do we use?
>> What to expect from your autism assessment
>> Child Assessment - What to expect
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>> Benefits of having an assessment
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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's


Please find some answers to frequently asked questions below.

If you would like an answer to something that is not included in the list, please let us know and we will update the list.

General Questions

How much does it cost?

The cost of an ASD assessment is £2,150.

How long is your waiting list / How soon can I expect the assessment?

There is a small waiting list but generally we can start the process within 1-2 weeks. Our assessment process generally takes 6 to 8 weeks from start to finish.

What are the timescales between starting the process and the final diagnostic report?

The entire process from start to finish takes around 6 - 8 weeks.

From what I’ve told you do you think I/my child/relative has autism?

Whilst the information you have given me is suggestive of ASD traits, it is not possible to give you a decisive answer and you would need to go ahead with the assessment process in order to confirm a diagnosis of ASD.

What are typical signs that indicate a person has autism?

People with Autism are likely to experience difficulties with communication and connecting emotionally and socially with others. They may also process sensory information, such as sounds and smells, differently from other people. Some of the more common signs that may indicate a person has autism may include:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Delayed (or lack of) speech and communication skills
  • Reliance on rules and routines
  • Becoming very upset by relatively minor changes
  • Unexpected reactions to sounds, tastes, sights, touch and smells
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s emotions
  • Focussing on or becoming obsessed by a narrow range of interests, activities or by objects
  • Engaging in repetitive behaviour

Can the assessment also diagnose ADHD?

The only outcome of the assessment will be whether you/your child/relative reaches the cut off for a diagnosis of ASD. However, if the clinical Team assessing you/your child/relative feel that other investigations are warranted (such as ADHD/Tics/Tourette’s/Emerging MH problems) they will make recommendations within the report. MIND Professionals does also provide a fully NICE Guidance compliant ADHD Diagnostic Assessment service for adults, children, and young people, so if ADHD assessment was clinically recommended for you/your child/relative, we are able to offer this as an additional service. 

Can the assessment also diagnose Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)?

PDA is not a diagnosis in its own right, however if the assessing Clinicians recognise PDA traits, they will include this within the profile.

How many people you assess usually meet the criteria? 

We are obviously not able to guarantee a diagnosis but please be assured that our Autism Diagnostic Assessments will reliably diagnose autism where the condition is present. 

Where is your service based / Do you assess all over the UK?

Our offices are based just outside of Cambridge, and we have clinics in a variety of locations across the UK. Where a local clinic is not available a Home Visit may be offered.

Are private diagnoses accepted and recognised universally (i.e., by the NHS/local authorities/schools/CAMHS)?

A private assessment should be accepted universally and there is no basis in law for a Local Authority to reject a professional diagnostic report because it is commissioned privately. We would recommend that you confirm with your GP that a private Autism Diagnostic Assessment will allow access to local support. To date we have not been advised that our assessment has not enabled access to local support.

Is the process different for private and NHS autism assessments?

Whilst the process of ASD assessments varies across the country, even throughout the different NHS Trusts, they must all adhere to the standard set out in NICE Guidelines. The MIND Professionals Autism Diagnostic Assessment process either meets or exceeds the standards set out in the NICE Guidance.

Do I need a GP referral?

Your GP does not need to specifically refer you to MIND Professionals, however, you should have a discussion with your GP to indicate that you are planning to commission a private Autism Diagnostic Assessment.

Assessments General

How long do the assessments take?

The face-to-face assessment (ADOS), where you/your child/relative is asked individual questions and given a selection of table-top activities, takes approximately 1 hour to complete and the remote ADI-R interview, during which a clinician will take a neurodevelopmental history, can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. 

Can the ADOS observation be completed remotely via video instead of in person?

The remote version of the ADOS is called the BOSA. It involves the person being assessed interacting with a family member, whilst they are observed via video-link by a member of the Clinical Team. If you did opt for a BOSA Observation, then you would be sent a kit to use for the interaction and explanatory notes.

Do we have to visit your clinic for the ADOS observation, or can this be done at our home?

Depending on your location a home visit can generally be arranged, or you will be offered an appointment at a local clinic.

How soon after the assessments will we know the outcome?

The entire process takes approximately 6-weeks, it is likely that you will receive the draft report within 2 weeks of the last appointment.

Assessments - Adults

What happens if I don’t have anyone to do the ADI-R / Can my spouse/partner/friend do the ADI-R?

Ideally the ADI-R will take place with someone who knew you well when you were growing up, a parent, uncle, Aunt or sibling in order that the Clinician can gather Neurodevelopmental Information. If this is not possible then someone who knows you well currently (partner/friend) can provide information and in some instances, you could provide your own information. If the Clinical Team are unable to obtain Neurodevelopmental Information and you reach the cut off for a diagnosis of Autism you will receive a Working Diagnosis of Autism.

What is a Working Diagnosis of Autism?

A Working Diagnosis of Autism indicates that the person being assessed meets the criteria for a Diagnosis of Autism, however Neurodevelopmental information was not obtained.

Is it too late to get a diagnosis after a certain age?

It is never too late to get a diagnosis. A diagnosis can help to increase understanding and help you to work on any areas that you find challenging within your life. Learning about autism and understanding any potential problems you might experience as a result of having the condition can help you at any age and any stage in life.

Assessments - Children

My child is XX months old. Are they too young to be assessed?

 We are able to assess children aged from 31 months and up.

What happens if my child’s school cannot complete a school observation?

There is no reason why your child’s school should not be able to complete the observation, even if they do not see the ASD traits that are apparent to you. MIND Professionals will liaise directly with the school in order to obtain the information required.

My child masks at school, will this affect the outcome?

Our Clinical Teams are experienced and will take into account that children may present differently in school than in the home environment.

Outcome / Diagnosis

What happens after a diagnosis? / What support is offered if I/my child meets the criteria for an autism diagnosis?

Following diagnosis, Mind Professionals will provide you with a comprehensive report with our recommendations for future support. We will either offer you further support with us, which could be either post diagnostic support, psychological support sessions, or sessions with an Occupational Therapist. We will refer you back to your GP with recommendations for further referrals; or we will recommend possible sources of support that you can seek for yourself. Many local Autism Support groups are charitable, and you do not need a referral from your GP to access their services. Support for children is generally offered within the school environment or via local support groups. 

What help will my child be offered if they receive an autism diagnosis? 

Children who have been diagnosed may be offered additional support in school and even a place in a school specialising in Autism as a direct outcome of the assessment results.

If the outcome is that autism is not diagnosed, what happens next?

The Clinical Team may recommend further testing if they think another condition should be investigated and this will be discussed with you in the Feedback Session. Following this, the final report will be completed and sent to the person and referring GP or funding authority, with recommendations, strategies. 

What do I do if I don’t agree with the outcome?

During the feedback session you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions that have arisen during the assessment process and to discuss the report content and outcome with a clinician. 

Price / Payment

Why is it so expensive?

NICE Guidance indicates that Autism Diagnostic Assessments must be completed by a Multidisciplinary Team. As the assessment takes a group of Clinicians a large amount of time to complete the assessment cost is higher than simpler diagnostic processes. The NHS Waiting Lists for ASD Assessments are extremely long which is due to the complex nature of the assessments.

Another Company are much cheaper than MIND Professionals, why is this?

Mind Professionals charge is on par with what is available throughout the UK for a NICE Compliant Multidisciplinary Assessment. Ther are some providers who may only use one Clinician in the diagnostic process, which would mean the report is not NICE Compliant and therefore is highly likely to be questioned or not enable you/your child to access specific support.

Do you provide payment plans?

It is possible to split the payment into three to be paid on a monthly basis. However, the outcome of the report will not be issued until the assessment has been paid for in full.

How do I make payment? / Can I pay over the phone? / Can I pay on credit card?

The preferred method of payment is via bank transfer, though if you wish to pay by Credit Card it is possible to pay via PayPal.

Do you charge for the initial screening call if we don’t get approval to go ahead? 

There is no charge for the initial screening call. Following the screening call, if you wish to proceed with the Autism Diagnostic Assessment the fee of £2,150 is payable.

Do you accept people covered by insurance?

You will need to check with your insurance company that Neurodevelopmental Assessments are covered. We are currently on the list of a number of recognised providers (including Cigna). However, we would be happy to register with any other insurance companies that will cover Autism Assessments.