Autism assessment | What happens when you see us?
Our job is to understand and see if there is any support to help you.
Educational Assessments carry out a variety of tests, including an autism assessment. Our team meet children, young people and adults who may be finding it hard to understand how other people think and feel. We’re aware that these individuals might find it hard to talk about their thoughts and feelings and take this into account. When young people especially feel like this, it can make it harder to get on at school and with friends. Therefore, our job is to see if there is an explanation for why they feel this way and advise them of support that can help them at home and school.
When we meet you, we will ask you about . . .
Some of the things you are good at
Some of the things that you enjoy doing
Some of the things that might be harder for you
Anything that you would like to be different
If you are a child or young adult, you will be asked to come along with your parents or carers. At first, you will all be invited into a room to meet our two clinicians – which is what we call the people working in our team.
Your parents or carers will then be invited into a different room while you stay with one of the clinicians. Don’t worry, the person meeting with you will try to get to know you a little bit by doing some activities together. They will ask you some questions about school, friendships and feelings. It is important to remember that there are NO right or wrong answers. Plenty of people who come in for appointments might feel a little nervous to start with – and that’s fine. By the end of these appointments, these seem people end up telling us that their appointment was fun! Meanwhile, your parents or carers will meet the other clinician and will be asked a lot of questions. They may take longer than you, but there are lots of entertaining things in the clinic to keep you occupied.
Here are some tell-tale signs of autism.
Avoidance of eye contact
Non-responsive to returning a smile
Non-responsive to their name
Not as responsive or talkative as other children
Repetitive movements and phrases
Significant negative reactions to certain tastes, smells or sounds
Looking for an autism assessment in Australia? If so, contact Educational Assessments. We carry out cognitive assessments across Australia. These can help isolate and determine whether you or your loved one are struggling with something in particular. Our team also offer home visits to assess your needs in an environment you’re comfortable in.
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When you have both finished, it’s time for a break. The clinicians will meet on their own to discuss your appointment and look at any information supplied by your school or workplace. After the break, there will be another short meeting. Sometimes the clinicians will want you in the room, and other times they may just want to talk to your parents or carers alone. The appointment usually takes a couple of hours from start to finish. However, it is what we call a one-off appointment. Therefore, it is not likely we will meet with you again.
The result of our meeting is a report for your parents or carers, school, or doctor to have. This document will explain all about your appointment and what was discussed. It will delve into any advice and support that may help at school, or with your friendships and family. Sometimes we might not have all the information needed and will need to contact your school or workplace to find out more.
Here’s what to do whilst waiting for an Autism assessment?
Understandably, it’s a tricky time for you.
Current waiting times for an autism assessment in Australia are unfortunately high. In some places, individuals have waited more than two years for their assessment – but don’t worry! Whether you are waiting on an autism assessment for yourself or your child, we’ve put together the following to help during your wait. Understandably, it’s a tricky time for you. You might veer from:
“I’m almost entirely certain that either myself or my child is autistic.” to “Oh look, they’re doing something completely typical, which must mean that they’re not autistic at all.”
This can be a confusing time because you’re doubting yourself. You haven’t got that professional confirmation that there is autism. Therefore, you’re really not sure how best to support yourself or your child.
So that’s where we thought we would come in.
Autism Assessment | Do the Research
Glean any useful strategies that can help.
Naturally, as educational assessors, we want to help you and your family – but the wait can be tough. The first useful thing you can do whilst you wait for an autism assessment is to LEARN MORE about autism. If you suspect you might have something, researching the topic as an idle curiosity can be beneficial. However, we should stress that you don’t do it in a way that should influence any professional assessment.
Our team know what we’re looking for. So, as long as you’re honest with us, it shouldn’t impact our decision.
Some of our clients have found that researching autism and the different presentations of autism can help them. They watch YouTubers, read blogs, websites, books and magazines and ANYTHING they can get their hands on. Not just about the science around autism, but the neurology around autism and people’s personal experiences. From this research, they gleaned useful strategies that have worked for people with autism or autistic children.
Autism Assessment | Implement Strategies
Glean any useful strategies that can help.
Once you’ve done the research, you might still not feel confident about implementing any strategies. Especially if you or your children are still waiting for an autistic assessment. However, it’s okay to try strategies designed for autism BEFORE you have that diagnosis. There are a lot of strategies that could potentially work. These strategies present clear boundaries and routines. So long as you are aware of the difficulties surrounding change, they certainly won’t hurt. During that waiting stage, identify the most difficult areas.
For some it might be . . .
Having a sensory overload
Or feeling low self-esteem
It’s okay for you to work on those things ahead of having a confirmed diagnosis, and that’s the KEY thing. If there ARE any difficulties, they are real – regardless of whether you’ve had a diagnosis to label said difficulties. Some people have health problems that never end up getting diagnosed. The reasons vary. Perhaps they are rare? No matter the reason, that DOESN’T mean they don’t exist. From a certain perspective, the whole idea that there has to be a label for something to exist is completely ridiculous. So, find out what the areas of difficulty are. Research strategies that might work and try them. Doing so might already begin to improve the day-to-day experience of that person before you even get so far as needing an autism assessment.
Autism Assessment | Beneficial Support
These things are NOT diagnosis-dependent.
In addition to this, support like benefits, educational health care plans, top-up funding in schools can help. Better still, those three things are NOT diagnosis-dependent. So, if your child’s additional needs are significant enough in school to warrant top-up funding, talk to the school SENCo. You might not be sure what top-up funding is, but they will. They can find out whether they do have those kinds of needs. You can also get Disability Living Allowance and any top-up funding without a diagnosis.
We won’t say that you can EASILY get these things, just like no one can easily get these things diagnosed. However, if you can prove that the needs exist and that’s what you need for it, which is the requirement NOT the diagnosis.
Before some of our client’s children were diagnosed, they were already working with the SENco. In doing so, they were actively learning about their difficulties in school and how they could be addressed. Don’t feel like you have to wait for a diagnosis before you can practice the care needed to live a life that’s best suited to you or your child. Attempt something BEFORE you even have that diagnosis. You don’t need validation from a professional to change your’s or your child’s life. Feel free to go to autism conferences. Watch autistic speakers and learn new strategies to live your best kind of life.
The bottom line when you wait for an autism assessment
Find what works best for you.
It’s not right that you might have to wait so long for an autism assessment but we are still here to help. We know the wait isn’t ideal, but if you can hold onto the fact that you don’t need a professional to tell you that what you know to be true is true.
Permit yourself to do what needs to be done before that diagnosis.
The reason for this is because it’s empowering, and that’s the thing you need to feel right now – empowered – without the professional stamp of approval. Unfortunately, in the current climate that we live in, a diagnosis is not always a straightforward affair or a quick path. So
Get in contact for an autism assessment!
We test children, adolescents, adults, and we can test YOU . . .
At Educational Assessments, our psychologists carry out full cognitive assessments. These provide essential learning and performance data to bolster support for individuals. If you believe that you or a loved one is struggling, get in touch. We have extensive coverage in Australia. Our team of expert consultants conduct home visits to assess you or your child and evaluate the patient’s learning needs to succeed.
We evaluate an extensive range of learning, social and emotional issues. The knowledge gleaned from our assessments and subsequent report permit you to make informed choices. So, if you want to find the best way forwards that’s suited to you or your child’s learning needs, then this is the answer.
Looking for an autism assessment? We offer clear, jargon-free advice, consistent personal support and offer valuable expertise. So, if you need advice, don’t delay. Simply get in touch today.