Sarah Gatt, Psychologist
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by difficulties in the core areas of social communication and language, together with restricted, repetitive behaviours, interests, or activities.
The presentation of Autism Spectrum Disorder varies considerably between individuals. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment is needed.
Who Makes a Diagnosis?
In Victoria, best practice for an Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment involves a multidisciplinary team. This means that multiple professionals work together to carry out a wide-range of assessments.
A multidisciplinary team usually includes: a paediatrician or child psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a speech pathologist. In addition, other professionals might also be included, such as an occupational therapist. All professionals come together to bring insight based on their areas of expertise.
What might be involved in a comprehensive Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment?
An Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment involves an in-depth analysis of your child’s
developmental and medical history, as well as an assessment of your child’s current strengths and challenges. Each professional gathers this information over multiple sessions. Generally, they will do this through:
Once each of the professionals has completed their assessment report, the paediatrician or child psychiatrist will bring all the results together and make the final decision as to whether the criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder is met.
Where do I start?
If you would like to discuss your situation and the possibility of Autism Spectrum Disorder, please book in an appointment with one of our psychologists experienced in the assessment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Alternatively if you are sure you would like an assessment you can make an appointment to see your G.P. and request a referral to see a paediatrician. The paediatrician will do an initial assessment of your concerns and may then refer you to a psychologist and a speech pathologist for a multi-disciplinary ASD assessment.