Diagnostic Service

Do you think you may have Asperger’s Syndrome (autism)?

We offer an assessment and diagnostic service for autism. Elaine Nicholson, Master of Autism and PGC in Asperger’s Syndrome is the initial assessor. Elaine is also a qualified counsellor who has had experience of counselling over 1,800+ Asperger/autistic personalities through her counselling career to date.

The initial meeting usually takes two hours and involves observation along with an interview that focusses on an individual’s early developmental history. This is referred to as an academic, non-clinical, assessment for autism. Such assessments  proffer helpful advices to general practitioners who may be thinking about referring you on to a diagnostic process through the National Health Service. We can write directly to your general practitioner if you wish; alternatively, your report may be retained privately by you; for this part of the service we politely request £175 donation to Action for Asperger’s (note – this will increase to £200 wef 01-10-17). Reports range from 6-14 pages long, depending on what you bring to the consulting room. In the private sector, you would be looking at paying £500-£750 for a similar service.

If the outcome of your assessment undertaken by Elaine points to a likely autism/autism spectrum disorder, then you have the opportunity of being referred on to our charity’s clinical diagnostician for further evaluation.

Dr. Kate Baldry, chartered clinical psychologist, on a separate date, will conduct a clinical ADOS-2 instrument for diagnosing autism and autism spectrum disorder, with Elaine as the second qualified ADOS-2 assessor. The ADOS-2 can take 1-2 hours to complete. By combining both outcomes, a clinical summary report is produced; for this part of the service we request a £500 donation to Action for Asperger’s. In the private sector, an equivalent service might cost you £1,000 upwards.

In the case of school-age children, further involvement by our educationalist, Kate Pode, MSc SEN and Diploma in Autism, and/or paediatric occupational therapist, Rachael Gartland, might also be required as part of our multi-agency approach to diagnosing for autism as per the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines¹, ²,. School observations and reports are frequently undertaken by our experts, and again, for this part of the service we politely request a donation to Action for Asperger’s. Donations to our charity for this part of the diagnostic service are usually in the region of £150-£200, though we may have to charge more if a visit to an educational establishment is outside of the county of Northamptonshire. We will not know until we see your child, if this part of the service will be necessary or not.

We diagnose ages 3 years and upwards. After-care is provided through the Action for Asperger’s counselling service if required.

Please note that a formal clinical diagnosis MUST be undertaken by an appropriately qualified clinician who has additional qualifications in diagnosing autism/autism spectrum disorders. The Department of Work and Pensions will not recognise ‘diagnoses’ undertaken by non-clinicians, for these can only be regarded as ‘academic assessments‘. Also, should you require a diagnosis to assist you in a legal case, again the same applies; your diagnosis should be undertaken by a suitably qualified clinical practitioner to best help you. The National Autistic Society holds a database of suitably qualified diagnosticians from all over the United Kingdom.

1. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg128

2. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg142