Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments
Growing Together administer the gold standard testing tool “ADOS-2″ for all children seeking an autism diagnostic assessment. For more information on the ADOS-2 testing tool, please refer below.
Presently, there are no ‘medical’ tests that can diagnose autism. Instead, specially trained physicians and psychologists administer autism-specific behavioural evaluations and autism diagnostic assessments.
Parents are typically the first to notice that their child is showing unusual behaviours. Some of these behaviours include failing to make eye contact, not responding to his/her name or playing with toys in an unusual and/or repetitive way. Other signs may include no big smiles/joy within 6 months, reduced speech within 12 months (e.g., no babbling), loss of social skills.
Autism spectrum disorders can be diagnosed later in life, often on the back of learning difficulties, social challenges or emotional difficulties.
A diagnosis as a result of an Autism Diagnostic Assessment can provide relief for parents and caregivers to provide a level of understanding for their child’s behaviour, and promotes the use of early intervention strategies and support for their child’s wellbeing going forward.
Several of our child and adolescent psychologists are trained in administering Autism Diagnostic Assessments for children and adolescents, and will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team (including your Paediatrician) to provide you with formal results and recommendations.
The ADOS-2 testing tool:
The ADOS-2 is a semistructured, standardized assessment of communication, social interaction, play, and restricted and repetitive behaviors. By observing and coding these behaviors, you can obtain information that informs diagnosis, intervention, treatment planning, and educational placement. The revision improves an instrument already viewed as the “gold standard” for observational assessment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). With updated protocols, revised algorithms, a new Comparison Score, and a Toddler Module, the ADOS-2 provides a highly accurate picture of current symptoms, unaffected by language. It can be used to evaluate almost anyone suspected of having ASD—from 1-year-olds with no speech to adults who are verbally fluent.
Our Autism Diagnostic Assessments (package) includes the following:
- 1 x 50 minute parent-only consultation with the Child Psychologist to discuss family history, challenges and other relevant information pertaining to the assessment;
- 3 x 50 minute (or 2 x 80 minute) assessment sessions for the child, with the Child Psychologist, including correspondence with other allied health specialists and paediatricians where required;
- The Child Psychologist will write a personalised Autism Diagnostic Assessment report for the child and family; and
- 1 x 50 minute parent-only consultation (report and feedback session) with the Child Psychologist.
Please call us on 9077 2275 to find out more about Autism Diagnostic Assessments or to book an initial appointment.
If your child is diagnosed, what happens next?
Following an ASD diagnosis by a Paediatrician, your child may be eligible for government funding for therapies and resources to support families.
The Department of Social Services “DSS” (formally FaHCSIA) has established a panel of Autism Early Intervention (therapy) service providers to deliver evidence based services to eligible children as part of the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package.
Growing Together Psychology is a registered Autism Early Intervention therapy service provider with DSS/FaHCSIA.
The Early Intervention funding under the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package is aimed at providing increased access to Early Intervention for children aged up to six years with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The funding supports the delivery of multidisciplinary evidence based Early Intervention to facilitate improved cognitive, emotional and social development prior to a child starting school. Refer to the Helping Children with Autism link on our website for more information about the funding program.
To access more information regarding DSS/FaHCSIA funding you can contact an Autism Advisor on 1300 424 499 or visit the DSS/FaHCSIA website:
To benefit from the FaHCSIA / DSS early intervention funding program, your child must have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. One of the available options is to complete an assessment through our Autism Diagnostic Assessments package by one of our trained and friendly child psychologists. Call us now on 9077 2275 to book your appointment!