1. Is the private Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis valid?

At The London Autism Diagnostic Clinic we follow guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to ensure our diagnostic assessments follow the gold standard. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance

We use NICE recommended ASD assessment tools including the ADI-R for developmental history and ADOS-2 for observation in clinic. For children and young person’s assessments we will seek further information/observation from the school setting.

We use a multidisciplinary approach which includes a Speech and Language Therapist and a Clinical Psychologist jointly completing all ASD assessments.


2.  Which age groups do you assess?


We assess children over the age of five years old through to adults of any age.


3.       How do I get a private ASD diagnostic assessment?


You can self-refer to our clinic through our website by filling in our contact us form. Following this we will be in contact with you to arrange an initial screening assessment with one of our clinicians to discuss how best to proceed.


4. What happens in an initial screening assessment?


An initial assessment is a brief screening to determine if a full ASD diagnostic assessment is needed.


We are happy to accept an initial screening assessment completed by another professional/service if it has been completed within the last three months.


If an initial screening assessment has not been previously completed we will arrange this with you. The initial screening assessment can be completed remotely or face to face. We will gather a brief background history in relation to the client’s early development, social communication, interests, sensory needs as well as their strengths and current difficulties. We may also use a rating measure to determine whether a full diagnostic assessment is needed. We will produce a short summary report with recommendations.


5.  How long does the ASD diagnostic assessment take from beginning to end?


The process will typically take between 4 to 8 weeks, from the date of the initial screening assessment through to the final feedback session and report.


6.  Is the diagnostic process different for a private clinic compared to an NHS assessment?


The main difference is that for an NHS assessment you require a GP referral, whereas for a private assessment you can self-refer. Clients usually choose private assessments due to the longer NHS waiting lists.

7. What does the ASD assessment process involve?


All parts of the assessment process, other than the ADOS-2 (which must be done face to face), can be done either face to face or remotely depending on client’s preference.


·        Initial screening to determine if a full diagnostic assessment is warranted. This is usually a 50 minute appointment following which a short summary report will be produced.

·        We aim to offer both appointments for ADOS and ADI-R on the same day. ADOS will be face to face in clinic and ADI-R will be remote.

·        Developmental history taking using the ADI-R will be completed with a parent/carer or an adult who has information about the client’s early development. This assessment can be completed with one or more informants and takes approximately two hours. The client being assessed is not usually present for this. If the client is over 18 years old they need to give consent for informants to provide a developmental history. If an informant is not available we will discuss alternative options with the client.

·        The client will be assessed in clinic using the ADOS-2 in a face to face appointment. This assessment involves brief puzzles and conversation with the client only. One clinician will administer the assessment and the other will observe and take notes.

·       Two clinicians come to a diagnostic decision using all the information gathered during the assessments which is mapped onto DSM -5 ASD diagnostic criteria.

·       An ASD assessment feedback appointment is provided to the client and anyone else they would like to include in this. This appointment is up to 50 minutes and gives a chance to discuss recommendations.

·       Following the feedback appointment a draft report will be sent to be reviewed by the client/referrer. There is a one week response period to request for changes to be made to the report before it is finalised and sent out to other recipients such as GP, school etc. with prior consent.


8.       Can the ASD diagnostic assessment be used for an EHCNA?


An Education Health Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA, previously referred to as EHCP) is a plan assigning resources to an individual who has significant education or healthcare needs. The ASD diagnosis can be used for the EHCNA in relation to planning reasonable adjustments depending on the client’s specific needs, for example, extra time in exams, time out of the classroom, use of sensory toys/objects etc.


9. How much does it cost to have a child or adult assessed privately for ASD?


The initial screening assessment costs £250 (includes consultation and short summary report)


ASD diagnostic assessment costs £2250




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