Autism affects the way in which a person communicates, relates to people and makes sense of the world around them. It is described as a ‘spectrum’ condition to reflect the wide range of differences that Autistic individuals may experience.
Usually, there are differences in: social interaction, communication and imagination; rigid and repetitive behaviours and flexibility in thinking; resistance to change and circumscribed interests unusual in their intensity. The person may also have difficulties with sensory processing, emotional regulation, anxiety, attentional and hyperactive behaviours, and PDA behaviours (Pathological Demand Avoidance).
My assessments will identify these co-occurring problems and I can recommend specialist services for further assessment if required.
My assessments are discussed with and verified by psychiatrist, Dr Eleanor Akaho, MBChB, MRCPsych. Eleanor has experience of working with Autism across the age range.
I offer appointments via Zoom or face to face.
The assessment tools I use are tailored to the needs of the individual and include:
The DISCO assessment is particularly suited to diagnosing females where Autism traits can go undetected due to their ability to compensate, adapt and conceal their difficulties. My assessments look in detail at the way in which the individual experiences their Autism.
The ADOS is a helpful observational tool, which I use mainly when assessing children and adolescents. It is better suited to identifying traits in males.
In addition to my diagnostic assessments, I offer support for individuals, couples and parents. Therapies include brief focussed therapy, CBT, individual psychotherapy, couples, parent and family work.
A diagnosis provides important information about your or your child’s needs to ensure that adjustments can be made to provide support in employment, education and home. For children a diagnosis it can contribute to an EHCP - Education Health Care Plan. For parents preferring to use their local NHS diagnostic service they can contact their GP and request a referral to a Paediatrician or their local CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. In Hertfordshire you can contact the Single Point of Access 0300 777 0707 who will refer on or sign post you to the appropriate service.
If you would like to make an appointment or discuss your concerns with me in order to decide whether I am the right service for you, please contact me by email or phone 07931 950514.