Multidiscilinary Gold Standard Autism Assessments
- Our Autism Assessments involve multidisciplinary input from three different clinicians and utilise ‘Gold Standard’ diagnostic tools.
- Our Assessments take place within the comfort of your own home, or within a local clinic location if preferred.
- Experienced Clinicians put you and your family at ease during the assessment process.
- Comprehensive draft report provided at a final feedback appointment, giving you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
- Our dedicated administrative team are on hand to assist with any queries that arise and to ensure prompt arrangement of appointments and provision of diagnostic reports.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) the “Gold Standard” Comprehensive Autism Assessment should consist of the following:
- Be team-based and draw on at least two different professions (i.e. Paediatrician, Clinical Psychologist and/or Speech and Language Therapist) who are trained and competent in autism diagnosis.
- Where possible involve a family member, partner, carer or another informant.
- Use documentary evidence (such as school reports) of current and past behaviour and early development.
- Not rely on any specific autism diagnostic tool alone to diagnose autism.
- Include a detailed developmental history, focusing on developmental and behavioural features consistent with ICD-10 or DSM-5 criteria using an autism-specific tool to gather this information, such as ADI-R or DISCO).
- Include an assessment (through interaction with and face to face observation of the person) of social and communication skills and behaviours, focusing on features consistent with ICD-10 or DSM-5 criteria, using an autism-specific tool to gather this information, such as ADOS-2.
- Multi-disciplinary Clinical Team discussion to consider the differential diagnosis.
There are several autism screening measures available for free online, such as the Autism Quotient and Empathy Quotient. These questionnaires are only screening measures – they cannot provide you (or your child) with a confirmed diagnosis – it requires specialist trained, experienced Clinicians, to give an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Clinicians may however use these questionnaires as one part of their overall assessment process, to provide them with additional information upon which to conclude their diagnosis.
Currently, there are a variety of services in the U.K. aiming to deliver Private Diagnostic Autism Assessments. Some of these services attempt to carry out the assessment process online using video electronic communications methods. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) does not recommend for Autism Diagnostic Assessments to be to be conducted electronically via an online or video approach – the psychological assessment methods deemed by NICE to be of a Gold Standard for the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are not designed for online or remote video communications use, they are designed only for use with the assessing (observing) clinician and the person being assessed being physically present in the same room together during the assessment. Diagnoses reached as a result of online or video electronic assessments are not conducted in line with NICE recommendations, so are not evidenced by NICE as being accurate.
Other services do offer face to face assessments, but either using only one “instrument” (psychological assessment tool); or only involving the professional opinion of one single or at the most two clinicians, to deliver the diagnosis.
Our approach at Mind Professionals is different: we deliver a highly qualified team of specialist trained clinicians for each person’s assessment - three different clinicians work together as a Multidisciplinary Team to deliver the diagnosis on every occasion. For each diagnostic assessment, our service is inclusive of an initial telephone discussion with the person being assessed (or their parent or guardian if a child or young person is being assessed) with our expert Clinical Lead, together with face to face assessments and multidisciplinary clinical discussions using the most up to date evidence based autism-specific psychological assessment tools in a timely and organised way.
Our Clinical Lead, Consultant Clinical Psychologist Tiago Pinto is an internationally recognised expert in the diagnosis and recommended supportive management of Autism and a recognised international trainer of healthcare professionals (including Clinical Directors; Psychiatrists; Clinical Psychologists; Speech and Language Therapists and Heads of Autism Services) in the use of the Gold Standard autism diagnostic assessment tools: ADOS-2 and ADI-R. He was awarded the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards - Great Autism Practice Award in 2017; and was also recognised the same year by the National Autistic Society for Professional Awards in the category of Outstanding Professional 2017. Tiago oversees and inputs directly into the diagnostic assessment process for every person we assess including carrying out the initial telephone pre-screening discussion with the individual or parent, and ongoing liaison with the two of our specialist trained clinicians carrying out the ADOS-2 and ADI-R assessments, as a Multidisciplinary Team.
Our Autism assessments are based on UK best practice models - they are designed strictly in line with the latest research and meet or exceed government standards including the GOLD Standard recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on Autism in children and adults. They exceed the criteria standards of the SEN and Disability Code of Practice (2015) which Local Authorities are required to take into consideration when issuing an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for a child or young person with a diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).