Assessment of autism is a complex process that requires assessment of functioning across a range of life areas as well as a detailed review of developmental history. Our psychologists offering Autism assessment in Melbourne are highly trained clinicians that use the latest diagnostic tools based on the latest research on autism and the diagnostic process. A formal autism assessment will typically occur over three sessions, with time for a detailed case history, assessment processes and feedback/discussion of the assessment outcome. Generally a diagnosis will also come with specific recommendations regarding management and treatment options if required. In addition to offering autism assessment services, our clinical team are experienced in providing therapy to individuals who are diagnosed with autism. The therapeutic process can be adjusted to meet the needs to the client, with treatment goals that align with the individuals own goals. In addition, clinicians experienced in working with clients with autism can help to ensure the therapeutic experience is tailored to the needs of the client, and have good insight into some of the common challenges that people with autism diagnoses can face.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is known for often appearing quite early in a child’s development. However, this is not always recognised in early life as the symptoms can vary in severity. For example, one individual may be relatively fluent with their speech and have above average intelligence, whilst another individual with ASD may have difficulties with speech and their ability to learn in school. Therefore, some people enter their adolescent or adult years and suspect that some of their childhood experiences, or even the difficulties they have faced as an adult, may be linked to ASD. On the other hand, they may have received a diagnosis for ASD and some professional support at a young age, but recently feel as though it is bringing rise to other difficulties.
ASD is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects the way individuals relate to people and their environment. Some of the difficulties that you may have noticed throughout your life include:
- Struggling to put into words what you want to say
- Talking about your hobbies and interests for a long time, until maybe you notice that people walk away or stop responding with interest
- Finding it difficult to contribute to a conversation which you don’t want to talk about
- Struggling to maintain eye contact, feel physical contact or to use the correct body language
- Being told you that you are rude or unfriendly without meaning to be
- Finding it difficult to understand other people’s emotions or what they mean when they say certain things
- Having a strong interest in a specific thing and spending most of your time and thoughts on this interest
- Struggling with any change to your daily routine, and feeling distressed when things unexpectedly change
- Facing prejudice, bullying or exclusion from your peers
- Wanting to experience independence from your family or carers but not knowing how
If you have experienced some of these things, it does not mean that you have ASD. There are a number of other factors which could be causing you difficulties in social relationships and day-to-day functioning, including certain negative mood states or personality traits.
At VCPS, the practitioners can help you to identify whether you have symptoms of ASD through a formal diagnosis process. If you have already been diagnosed in the past, they can also help you to manage any symptoms that you are currently experiencing. Some approaches they may use include:
- Provide you with an understanding of any autism traits and the manner in which these present and may cause difficulties
- With a greater understanding of your autism traits, we can support you in managing your behaviour
- Provide you with an understanding of possible triggers and methods to manage and reduce your distress
- Assist you in recognising emotions and developing emotional regulation strategies
- Help you to develop appropriate social and conversational skills to initiate and maintain friendships
- Support you in utilising the strategies tailored for you outside of the sessions
If you would like to hear more about how our autism treatment and autism assessment services in Melbourne, please contact our friendly intake team, on (03) 9419 7172.