Autism, Aspergers & ASD Testing at Private GP
At Private GP, our multidisciplinary, Neurodiversity Team will work with you over various appointments to assess whether you meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD. Our assessment pathway is borne from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance for ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: Diagnosis and Management’. NICE is an organisation that sets standards for healthcare professionals.
There are three phases to the ASD Assessment Pathway here at Private GP. This includes a triage service, a holistic ASD assessment and post-assessment support. Each is detailed below. Please call Private GP to enquire.
1. Triage for Self-Referrals
When you make an enquiry for an autism, aspergers or ASD assessment, you will be invited to a 30-minute appointment with one of our GPs.
You will also be sent a ‘screening-pack’ containing various questionnaires for you to complete. Some of these directly relate to ASD symptomatology, and some are designed to gather information about others conditions that can be present alongside possible ASD. The questionnaires will be reviewed by a clinical psychologist.
If the Neurodiversity Team feels that an ASD assessment is the best course of action, we will book you into the assessment pathway.
If the Neurodiversity Team does not feel that an ASD assessment is the best way to support you, we will write to you with some brief recommendations to take to your GP. You may also choose to book an appointment with one of our clinical psychologists. They will discuss with you, in detail, the results of the screening questionnaires you completed and will offer advice and signposting towards the most appropriate treatment or alternative assessments.
2. The ASD Assessment
ASD assessments are very thorough. This means that you will meet with different professionals within the Neurodiversity Team for various appointments. It is important for them to understand your current experiences, as well as to build up a picture of your childhood experiences. Sometimes they will gather information from other sources such as reading historic school-based or medical reports, and they may speak to a parent / caregiver to get a detailed account of your developmental history.
Typically, our assessments run over a three-week period, although this may be extended if the team feel that further assessment is needed. An outline of our ASD assessment pathway is described below.
As part of the assessment, it is really important that the Neurodiversity Team have a detailed picture relating to your development, as well as an understanding of your current concerns. To establish this, a clinical psychologist will ask you questions about your childhood, as well as current experiences and difficulties. Sometimes, the team will also gather information from other sources. This may include historic school-based or medical reports, as well as a conversations with a caregiver / parent who can share a detailed narrative around your developmental history.
You will be invited to take part in an autism-specific standardised assessment, which will be facilitated by two professionals of the Neurodiversity Team. This is called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). It includes various activities and conversations designed to give the team an understanding of how you make sense of the world.
You may also choose to have a cognitive assessment with a clinical psychologist. This will identify some of your strengths and areas of need, as well as providing you with your IQ. This is charged at an additional fee.
After the assessment is complete, the Neurodiversity Team will meet to discuss their observations and the findings from the various assessments. They will also draft a thorough report. You will be then invited to a feedback session with the clinical psychologist who has been involved in your assessment. During this appointment, the outcome of the assessment and the clinical recommendations of the team will be shared with you. You will also have the opportunity to review the report.
Possible outcomes of the assessment
It is important to understand that there could be several possible outcomes of your assessment.
It may be that the Neurodiversity Team can be confident that you have ASD and a diagnosis will be given. Alternatively, they may feel that you do not meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD and a diagnosis will not be given.
Sometimes other conditions can have overlapping features and may present similarly. Therefore, it may not be possible to offer a diagnosis of ASD without further assessment. In these instances, further assessment for a differential or co-morbid diagnosis will be recommended.
3. Post-assessment support
Based on the recommendations laid out in your report, post-assessment support will be made available by specialists within their field via Private GP for an additional fee. These services are available to all, even if the Neurodiversity Team did not give a diagnosis of ASD.
Post-assessment support options include appointments for you with our GP who has expertise in functional medicine, our autism-trained counsellor, clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, or occupational therapists.