Autism Assessments for Children and Young People (5-17 years old)

Autism Assessments for Children and Young People (5-17 years old)

The Edinburgh Practice has created a ‘gold-standard’ assessment service, ensuring that families can access high quality Autism assessments for their children in a timely manner.

The Assessment Process

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is diagnosed by gathering evidence from the young person, their family and by completing a clinical assessment.  As a team we gather information from different sources to see if the child/young person meets the diagnostic criteria for autism or whether their presentation can be better explained by something else, for example, anxiety or learning difficulties. Our child and adolescent team is multidisciplinary, and comprised of clinical psychologists, occupational therapists and a specialist speech and language therapist. In order to provide a ‘gold-standard’ service, we have chosen to use a range of clinically recognised tools. Below is a guide of how our assessments typically proceed.

Stage 1: Initial consultation

The first stage of our assessment process involves an initial consultation. The purpose of this consultation is to give you the opportunity to meet with a member of our team to discuss your child’s presentation and provide some details about your child’s developmental history. Where applicable, both parents or guardians and the young person should attend this meeting which will last approximately one hour.

Following this initial consultation, if full assessment is indicated, we will provide you with a questionnaire to give to your child’s nursery/school to fill out and return to us. We will also need to contact the school/nursery to verify information. This information is vital to the diagnostic process and is essential for us to have prior to us meeting your child.

Stage 2: The core assessment

As parents/guardians, you will meet with one member of our team to complete the ADI-R. This is a standardized interview which includes in-depth questioning relating to your child’s early years and developmental history and has been proven to be highly useful for diagnosing individuals with ASD. It is a gold standard assessment tool and is recommended in current national guidelines.

Your child will also attend the practice to complete the ADOS-2 assessment for ASD. This is a semi structured, standardised assessment which is designed to identify behaviours that are typically related to a diagnosis of ASD.  This is also a gold standard instrument recommended in current national guidelines. This play-based observational assessment involves your child playing with specific toys and undertaking various tasks with a member of the team whilst their interaction is being observed by another team member.

Stage 3: Diagnosis

Following the completion of these assessment processes, the team meet to discuss the young person’s case and the information that has been gathered during the assessment process.  The information is mapped onto the DSM-V criteria for ASD and a decision is reached regarding diagnosis.  If all information is available, the team would hope to feedback to you within 14 days of the clinic assessment.

In some cases, further assessment may be required if it is determined that further clarification and observation would be useful to the assessment process. Examples include a nursery/school observation, an additional speech and language assessment, or a review by a child psychiatrist.  If this is the case then the rationale and timing for the further assessment will be discussed.

Report & recommendations

Following completion of our assessments a written diagnostic report will be completed. We will aim to have this report finalised approximately 4 weeks after completion of our assessment.

Stage 4: Post-assessment support meeting

Whether or not your child receives an ASD diagnosis, we understand that the whole process and outcome may have been challenging for you as a family. Receiving a positive ASD diagnosis for a child can feel overwhelming, and each individual will have differing emotions following the diagnosis. Equally, parents of children who do not receive a diagnosis and where the origin of their child’s difficulties appear to point elsewhere can also feel overwhelmed and helpless as to what to do moving forward. For this reason, we have structured in a ‘follow-up’ meeting, approximately one month after your child’s assessment. This meeting allows you the opportunity to go through the report again if necessary and get clarity on any outstanding queries. Whatever the outcome of the diagnostic assessment, you will be provided with practical resources and recommendations for local services and support groups that may be helpful for you and your family.    

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Autism assessment for children and young people


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🕒 It’s that time again! We’re back with another #MeaningfulMonday!
💛 Today’s heartfelt review is from a client of our wonderful Clinical Lead for Child and Young People Services, Dr Lisa.
💫 It brings us so much joy to hear that this client had such a positive experience with Dr Lisa! We’re so happy to hear that they gained confidence and have seen an improvement in their mental well-being.
🙏 Thank you to this client for sharing their experience, we welcome any and all feedback!
Connect with Us 💛
At The Edinburgh Practice we provide high quality mental health assessment and intervention to individuals across the lifespan. Our aim is for our clients to feel supported, valued, heard and understood. We aim to foster a sense of connectedness, and deliver care with our core values at the heart of what we do: 
📈Personal Growth
Reach out and connect with us today to start your journey with The Edinburgh Practice. 
☎️ Call us on 0131 385 0934
🏡 Come in and see us at 12 Sibbald Walk, Edinburgh EH8 8FT
🖥 Discover the range of services we offer on our website (linked in our bio) and submit a self-referral. 
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We look forward to hearing from you! 
🌟 Welcome back to #MeaningfulMonday! We have a lovely review to share today.
🤗 We are so happy to hear that this client felt that they were treated with kindness and respect at TEP. We truly value our clients and one of our main aims is to make their experience with us a positive one. 
💛 Thank you to this client for sharing this feedback with us!
Happy #FeelGoodFriday! Today we have Dr Anu Shekhar, one of our Clinical Psychologists at TEP, introducing and talking us through a Compassionate Imagery exercise! 
🤔 What is Compassion-Focused Imagery (CFI)?
Developed from Compassion-Focused Therapy, CFI is an emotion-regulation technique involving visualisation of a person, animal, or object offering individuals compassion, to generate feelings of safety and comfort. Research shows that using imagery can be powerful in triggering emotions! 
🤔 How do you practice Compassionate Imagery? 
1️⃣ Start by closing your eyes.
2️⃣ Slow down your breathing - you can use the 4-2-6 technique. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold breathe for 2 seconds, breathe out for 6 seconds. 
3️⃣ Think of compassion - what thoughts, feelings, or images arise in your mind?
4️⃣ Develop an image that makes you feel comfortable, safe, and raises warm feelings towards you.
5️⃣ Notice if the image is a person, animal, or an aspect of nature. Think about how this image comforts you.
6️⃣ When you’re ready, gently open your eyes and let go of the image.
There is no ‘right’ image, picture whatever comes to mind! Different examples of images:
🧍‍♀️🧍‍♂️ People
🐶🐱 Animals
⛰️🏝️ Places
It might take some time to develop an image and may require some practice, but be patient with yourself! 💫 
Remember you can return to this compassionate image whenever you feel you need it! 
If you’d like to learn more about Compassion-Focused Therapy, you can have a look at ‘The Compassionate Mind Workbook’ written by Dr Elaine Beaumont & Chris Irons.
👋 We hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend! We have another #MeaningfulMonday to share today! 
😊 This week we have some lovely feedback from another valued client.
💛 We are so happy to hear that this client had such a positive experience with all aspects of TEP! We understand the importance of matching clients with the right clinician, and how helpful this can be for a client’s therapeutic journey. We are proud to have a wide range of expertise within our team and our Clinical Leads work hard to match clients with a clinician who is best suited to their clinical needs.
🙏 Thank you to this client for sharing their experience!
Happy #FeelGoodFriday! This week we are celebrating and feeling good about our charity event for Alzheimer Scotland that we held this Tuesday! 
We spent the day cycling for 12 hours from 9am to 9pm, taking turns to keep the wheels spinning and selling sweet treats to our clients, neighbours and the people passing through Sibbald Walk. 
Our lovely assistant psychologists, Zara and Frances enjoyed meeting lots of new faces and hearing peoples stories about how Alzheimer Scotland was a cause close to their heart. 
We are delighted to announce that we have raised £1434 so far for Alzheimer Scotland (@alzscot) and are feeling so grateful and thankful for all of your donations to such a great cause. With an initial target of £500, we cannot believe people’s generosity and support! 
For more information about Alzheimer Scotland, please head to their website to learn more about how they support individuals with dementia to make sure nobody faces dementia alone. 
Our JustGiving page is still live until Monday if you would like to add any final contributions! 
We want to extend a huge thank you to Tribe (@tribe.cycle @tribeyoga) for lending us one of their bikes for our charity event!! We are so grateful! 
#FeelGoodFriday #theedinburghpractice #AlzheimerScotland #positivity #charity
📣 Exciting announcement! We are absolutely delighted to announce that our latest Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) Inspection Report has just been published on the HIS website! 📣
  🩺 What is HIS?
HIS improve health and care for the people of Scotland. Their vision is a health and care system where: 
• People can access safe, effective, good quality, person-centred care when they need it 
• Services are informed by the people of Scotland and based on evidence that works 
• Those delivering care have support to innovate and improve
HIS inspect, regulate and review health and care settings within the NHS in Scotland and the independent healthcare sector. Private clinics are assessed against a range of quality indicators and HIS gather feedback from patients. All registered clinics must demonstrate that they are maintaining high standards of care at all times. A report grading aspects of the service, is published on the HIS website following each inspection. 
HIS grade each clinic as: 
• Exceptional
• Good
• Satisfactory
• Unsatisfactory
👏  TEP HIS Inspection Report
We are delighted with our inspection report and we feel that it really highlights and validates the high quality of care that we provide at TEP. We received one exceptional grade and two good grades! The report highlighted the following about TEP:
• “A clear vision and purpose, with a comprehensive strategic direction”
• “Governance processes were in place with visible and supportive leadership”
• “Key performance indicators for continued improvement”
• “Staff felt supported and valued”
• “A comprehensive audit programme and policies and procedures set out the way the service was delivered and supported staff to deliver safe and person-centred care”
• “Thorough assessments were carried out for each patient to establish a formal diagnosis and inform their future treatment”
• “Patients and their carers spoke positively about their care and treatment”
• “Patient experiences and feedback were regularly sought to allow for ongoing improvement into how care was delivered.”

📋 You can read the full report on the HIS website - link in bio!
⭐️ Happy Monday everyone, and welcome back to #MeaningfulMonday!
😊 Today, we’re thrilled to share some heartwarming feedback from one of our cherished clients.
💛 At TEP, our mission is to ensure every client feels valued and respected, and it fills us with joy to hear that this client highly recommends us to others!
💫 We always welcome any and all feedback from our clients. Thank you to this client for their kind words and trust in us.