Stephanie adopts a comprehensive Gold-Standard Evidence-Based approach to the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, based on diagnostic criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).
Information about an individual's social, emotional and social-communication strengths and weaknesses are collected across different domains. When assessing children, a thorough developmental history is taken with parents to understand parent concerns and social-emotional strengths and challenges. Stephanie may also conduct school visits and liaise with teachers to develop a well-rounded understanding of a child's social-emotional difficulties in the classroom. Stephanie is available to provide follow-up support, interventions and classroom strategies if required.
Gold standard assessments are conducted, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and Childhood Autism Rating Scale – Second Edition (CARS-2).
A comprehensive developmental history is obtained via parent interview or interview with an adult to discuss:
- presenting concerns
- early developmental milestones
- social-emotional skills
- play skills, and
- any challenging behaviours.
The Childhood Autism Rating Scale - Second Edition (CARS-2) is also completed with parents to understand your child's development, as related to traits/areas of functioning specific to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism Assessment (ADOS-2)
The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second edition (ADOS-2) is conducted as part of the assessment process.
The ADOS-2 is a semi-structured standardised assessment which enables Stephanie to understand an individual's social communication, social interaction and play skills. The ADOS-2 also assesses other behaviours relevant to Autism Spectrum Disorder, including restricted and repetitive behaviours, sensory issues, attention difficulties and any anxiety related to Autism.
The ADOS-2 is completed during a 1-1.5 hour session.
An optional cognitive assessment provides valuable information about an individual's performance on tests of Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, Working Memory and Processing Speed. This information assists with understanding an individual's overall development in relation to their social-emotional and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. The results of a cognitive assessment can be useful for school funding and assisting your child with accessing in-school support.
Should a school visit be required, Stephanie will meet with teachers and conduct an informal school observation to gain additional information about a child's behaviours in the school context. Alternatively, discussions with school teachers provide helpful information about a child's behaviour at school if required as part of the assessment process.
Feedback & Report
Following the assessment process, copies of a comprehensive assessment report are provided and discussed in detail, including recommendations for home and school to support an individual's overall development.