Autism Assessment and diagnosis
What to expect:
You (or your child) might be offered an assessment if you or people in your life think that you may have some of the signs of autism. These signs may include:
- finding it difficult talking to and being with other people
- having unusual or intense interests
- finding some situations and experiences difficult to cope with
- sometimes finding noise, touch, taste and texture, lights or smells difficult to deal with
- strongly preferring your usual routine
- developing more easily in some areas than others.
Having an assessment means you can talk about these things and find out possible reasons for them.
During the Assessment with Changing Minds:
Our clinicians will talk to you and your family about different parts of your life to help them get to know you. They will ask questions about:
- what you are good at and what you find difficult
- any worries you or your parents have
- how you get on at home, at school and in other situations
- how you talk to and get on with other people.
They will think about:
- any other physical or mental health problems you might have, including doing some health checks
- anything else that might be making things harder for you, or affected how you have grown and developed.
They might also need to:
- come and see how you get on at school or at home
- arrange other assessments.
This information will help them to work out how best to help you and plan what support you and your family need.
How will having an assessment help?
After an assessment our clinicians will be able to explain whether they think you are or are not autistic and why. They will write a detailed diagnostic report saying what they have found in the assessment, and send a copy to your GP. If you agree, they also send a copy to other relevant people (e.g teachers, social workers etc.).
If our clinicians do think that you are autistic, they will explain how this decision was reached and talk to you about any other services that might help or be able to offer support.
If you are autistic, Changing Minds will also:
- give you information about what autism is and what it might mean for you, now and in the future
- talk to you about plans that could be made for providing you and your family with support
- Make recommendations about the support that you will need moving forward.
What will an Autism Diagnosis mean for my child?
- It may help you (and your family and friends) to understand why your child may experience certain difficulties and what you can do about them.
- It may correct a previous misdiagnosis and help to get any mental health problems better addressed.
- It may help you to get access to appropriate services and benefits.
- You will be entitled to have reasonable adjustments made by your school, college or university.
- Although you don’t need to be diagnosed to have self-belief, some autistic people welcome the diagnosis as a way of making sense of their life experiences and being able to identify with other autistic people.