Why have an assessment?
Many individuals seek an assessment for their own curiosity and to help make sense of their questioning of perhaps being on the Autism Spectrum. Having a thorough assessment means that there can be a clear understanding of the core issues and presentation, and that the correct psychological issues are treated appropriately.
Diagnosing adults who may be on the autism spectrum is a complex task. Many adults have had to learn to mask autistic type behaviours (e.g., stimming), perspectives, and values to the extent that the ‘censorship’ becomes second nature. This, alongside many years of feeling like an ‘outisder’ can lead to other mental health issues such as trauma, anxiety, and mood disorders making accurate assessment of autism and co-existing mental health issues complex in nature. Many clients report previously being diagnosed with an array of mental helath issues such as OCD, personality disorders, somataform disorders, social phobia, anxiety, all of which need to be reviewed in the context of a possible autism spectrum presentation.
To assist in accurate diagnosis in both autism spectrum ptresentations and mental helath issues, Autism Psychology Centre employs a variety of diagnositic methods and assessment tools. Each assessment tool has been carefully researched and hand picked to provide the most thorough and accurate assessment possible. Assessments administered are classified as “restricted” meaning that only psychologists with appropriate training can administer, score, and interpret them. We aim to give you peace of mind that the most thorough and appropriate assessment has been conducted.
Autism Psychology Centre conducts assessments for adults over four 50-minute sessions. Assesments are conducted in a personable manner and aim to assist the client to feel comfortable and at ease.
There are two different types of reports that you may request, with each depending on the reason for seeking the initial assessment. You can also opt to not have a report at all. Reports are provided two to three weeks after the fourth session (unless arranged otherwise). For ethical and professional reasons, reports are only offered if a full comprehensive assessment has taken place.
Assessment Summary Report.
Brief report stating reason for assessment, assessment materials, and diagnosis.
Full Comprehensive Report
Includes reason for seeking assessment, assessment materials, outcome of each assessment. Summary of diagnosis/diagnoses. Recommendations.
Autism Psychology Centre does not conduct assessments or reports for legal, DSP, or housing circumstances.
Session one focuses on talking through the assessment process and discussing why you feel you are exploring an autism spectrum assessment. You will also be asked a series of broad questions about your development, interests, behaviours, family history, social experiences, previous psychological well-being, and so forth. Not everyone needs a full comprehensive assessment, therefore session one is an opportunity to discuss the most appropriate assessment path and if Autism is possibly relevant.
Session two involves conducting a structured clinical interview for assessing Autism Spectrum.
Session three involves a computer administered comprehensive assessment (takes 50-60 minutes) which screens for clinical issues such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality traits, relationship dynamics, and drug and alcohol use.
In session four, your results from the assessment will be discussed, including any co-existing mental health issues that might be requiring further treatment. Recommendations will be offered, and it will be an opportunity to ask any questions that you might have in terms of “what now”? or moving forward in your life.
Follow Up Sessions
Clients are welcome to make follow up sessions should you require more discussion or have more questions following the initial assessment process, or are needing further support.