Autism Diagnostic Assessment Service

At the Child and Family Practice, we offer an autism diagnostic assessment service for parents who believe that their child may be autistic.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. Symptoms of ASD are often apparent early in a child’s life. Symptoms exist on a continuum, with milder idiosyncrasies existing alongside far more impairing presentations of the condition.

A standardised assessment enables us to determine whether a child meets criteria for ASD or a social communication disorder. If appropriate, the level of severity can be established with precision. An assessment can offer an explanation for the difficulties a child may be experiencing, providing information to help plan the most appropriate care, education and support longer term.

How is the assessment carried out?

At TCFP, we assess and intervene within a systemic framework and we promote the awareness and positive narrative of autism. The assessment is not only aimed to provide a label, but to obtain a careful picture of strengths and areas of need.

Our assessment methodology follows UK National Guidelines as stipulated by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), so that our findings and recommendations can be accepted by the statutory services and other professionals.

In order to meet these requirements, your child will be offered an initial general assessment by a Paediatrician or Psychiatrist. They will take a general medical history, undertake a physical examination if indicated, and ascertain if autism diagnostic assessment is indicated, and to consider differential diagnosis and co-existing conditions.

Following the initial assessment, if the doctor concludes that autism diagnostic assessment is indicated, they will arrange for this to take place as a further appointment(s), again to meet the requirements.

What happens during the autism diagnostic assessment?

The assessment is undertaken jointly by two autism specialists, who may be a Paediatrician, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, a Speech and Language Therapist, an Occupational Therapist or a Clinical Psychologist. One of them will administer the ADI/3Di with the parents, while the other ADOS-2 with the young person. Assessment is usually completed on the same day. After the two tests are administered, the specialists will provide feedback on the findings.

ADI/3Di is an interview conducted with parents of children suspected of having autism. The purpose of ADI/3Di is to collect detailed description of your child behaviours in the areas of language and communication, social interaction and play with particular emphasis on the early years of your child. The child is not involved in ADI/3Di test, only the parents.

The ADOS-2 is an assessment of language and communication, social interaction and play for children suspected of having autism. The ADOS-2 consists of direct observation of your child behaviours using a variety of play-materials and activities according to your child level of language and age. The child is actively involved in this test.

Prior to the assessment, your child’s nursery or school will be asked to complete a specific questionnaire with relevance to social communication concerns. Also, you will be asked to forward relevant reports from other professionals who have seen your child to help build up a picture. Such information is very important for the specialists in reaching a diagnostic decision.

Will I get a clear diagnosis after the assessment?

In over 95% of cases, following assessment you will be informed whether your child has autism or not, their strengths and needs, and any co-existing conditions. Recommendations will be made and a detailed report will follow.

In a minority of case, the findings may be inconclusive, and further assessment may be recommended. This may involve one of the professionals having a discussion with your child’s school, and in some cases observation of your child in school. Assessment by additional clinicians, such as a Psychotherapist or Clinical Psychologist, may be recommended.

What about post-diagnosis treatment and support?

In addition to offering autism diagnostic assessment, we also provide post-diagnostic support such as psycho-education and specialised psychological and SLT interventions. Our services include groups, as well as specialised interventions individually tailored, for both children and young people, and for parents.

We work closely with educational consultants, child and adolescent psychotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational and physiotherapists and clinical psychologists who can advise on intervention and support.

How much will all of this cost?

Initial general assessment: £500

Autism Diagnostic assessment : £1600 to £1950, depending on the complexity of the case. This covers administration of ADI/3Di, ADOS-2, feedback to parents and report.

Total cost therefore is £2100 to £2450.

If school liaison, school observation and assessment by additional clinicians are recommended, these will be charged in addition.

Post-diagnosis support and intervention are charged separately.

The Process for scheduling an appointment for an ASD assessment:

Please complete the enquiry from on this page. Once your request is received, the information will be triaged by one of our clinicians and forwarded to the appropriate doctor. If you have requested an appointment with a particular doctor, your request will be forwarded to the doctor directly.

What happens next?

After considering your request, you will be advised who would be the most appropriate doctor to offer an initial appointment with your child. This will either be a Consultant Developmental Paediatrician, or a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. You will be contacted by one of the secretaries who will offer an initial appointment.

For children with mainly developmental or learning issues, it would be more helpful for them to be seen by a Paediatrician. For children with mainly behavioural and emotional difficulties, seeing a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist would be advisable.

If you have requested an appointment with a particular doctor, the doctor will advise if it would be appropriate for them to see your child, or suggest an alternative doctor if they feel this would be more helpful.

Make an Enquiry

Complete our short enquiry form and one of our staff will get back to you as soon as possible

Our Specialists

Dr Alison Pak

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Jennifer Warwick

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPIST

Georgia Pavlopoulou

AUTISM SPECIALIST, EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES

Dr Ben Ko

SENIOR CONSULTANT PAEDIATRICIAN

Dr Zaib Davids

CONSULTANT CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST

Dr Roger Kennedy

CONSULTANT CHILD & ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST AND PSYCHOANALYST

Dr Alison Pak

Position: CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Categories: *ADD, *ADHD, *Autism, Psychologists

Dr Alison Pak completed her BSc (Hons) at University College, London, a Masters in Social and Developmental Psychology at the University of Cambridge, and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at University College, London.  She has experience working in various NHS settings and in private practice, and is currently based in a practice in South West London.

Dr Pak draws on a range of therapeutic models (e.g., Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy), often including creativity as one of her core competencies. She believes that children and young people respond to integrative approaches, which appeal to their language and their hobbies. Having worked with children and young people across the age range, she has found that packaging important aspects of therapy in examples that they find to be familiar is crucial in strengthening engagement and communication, resulting in a strong therapeutic relationship built on trust, honesty and fun.

Dr Pak has worked with children, young people and adults, providing individual therapeutic interventions as well as working with families and groups. She has experience in the treatment of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, conduct disorder, psychosis, behavioural difficulties, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Furthermore, she has worked with children with neuro-developmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is experienced in carrying out cognitive assessments and in providing detailed reports of cognitive functioning.

 

    Jennifer Warwick

    Position: SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPIST
    Categories: *Autism, *Speech and Language Therapy, Speech Therapists

    Since qualifying Jennifer has worked across a range of health, education and charity contexts providing assessment and intervention for children and young people with neurodevelopmental disorders and complex communication needs. Jennifer works collaboratively with parents and educators to support and empower them in developing communication and interaction skills in children and young people. Jennifer volunteers as a Research Champion and Advisor for ASD and social communication disorders for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). She is committed to research and best practice evidenced through completion of an MSC in Human Communication at City University of London in 2013. Jennifer has a particular interest in the development of social cognition in young children and is joint author of the ‘Early Sociocognitive Battery’.

      Georgia Pavlopoulou

      Position: AUTISM SPECIALIST, EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES
      Categories: *Autism, *Help with parenting, *School and Education, Educational Consultants

      Dr Pavlopoulou is an Educational Consultant and Neurodevelopmental Specialist, as well as a passionate advocate of neurodiversity.

      She has a Doctorate in Developmental Psychology and Mental Health from UCL and works with research teams in order to find the best ways to support neurodivergent people and their family members to live happier, healthier lives. She is also involved in academic research on learning, sleep, family relationships, anxiety, low mood and sex education needs of people with neurodevelopmental conditions. She is also leading Short Course in Autism and Mental Health at Anna Freud Centre. She has given talks across Europe and the US and co-authored a number of papers in family wellbeing and education. Currently, she is writing a book focusing on siblings’ relationships, experiences and ideas about neurodiversity. She is also editing a book on Mental Health in Autism: Improving Access to Psychological Services for Autistic Children, Young People and their Families. Dr Pavlopoulou is also leading a Masters’ level module on Psychological Aspects of Counselling at UCL.
      Dr Pavlopoulou has 17 years of experience in designing and implementing communication, interaction and learning programs with autistic people and helping families and services to understand and respond to the mental health needs of autistic people. Dr Pavlopoulou is using acceptance and strength-based practices, contextual behavioural techniques and existential/humanistic values to help families and teachers to work with, rather than on or for, autistic people. She employs a number of creative, person-centered strategies to accommodate the needs of autistic people and to empower them to live with awareness, love and courage in order to reach their maximum potential.
      Although Dr Pavlopoulou has a special interest in childhood neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism and parenting support and advice, she enjoys working with clients with a variety of conditions (ADHD, learning disabilities, Williams Syndrome, Crouzon Syndrome, Fragile X, etc.) and is able to provide high quality services for children and young people coping with various concerns, including:
      • understanding and supporting behaviour at home and school
      • friendships/perspective taking/social thinking
      • school anxieties/school attendance
      • meltdowns, burnout and family wellbeing
      • siblings’ support (conflicts or worries)
      • home routines
      • designing, implementing or adapting a number of functional person-centered academic or direct instruction curriculum activities
      • independent/life skills
      • pre-vocational preparation 
      • transition to adulthood
      In order to ensure that the multiple needs of clients with neurodevelopmental conditions are met in the best possible way, Dr Pavlopoulou works closely with a multidisciplinary team of professionals which includes Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Paediatricians, Special Educators, Psychotherapists, a Play Therapist, a Dance Therapist and Physiotherapists.

        Dr Ben Ko

        Position: SENIOR CONSULTANT PAEDIATRICIAN
        Categories: *ADD, *ADHD, *Autism, *Paediatrics, Paediatricians

        Dr Ben Ko is a Senior Consultant Paediatrician, with over 20 years’ experience as an NHS Consultant. After graduating from Edinburgh University with Distinction in Paediatrics, he continued his training in paediatrics in the UK, rotating through tertiary centres including Great Ormond Street Hospital. He was an Honorary Consultant to Great Ormond Street Hospital, prior to his current NHS appointment with Barts Health NHS Trust.

        He has an extensive clinical portfolio in the field of neurodisability and child development, covering physical disabilities, learning difficulties, autism, developmental coordination disorder (dyspraxia), and the full range of developmental disorders. He is recognised as a national expert on Special Education Needs and has written national advice and guidance on the subject.

        Ben has gained national recognition for his contribution to paediatrics. He was awarded a Department of Health national level Clinical Excellence Award, which is bestowed to only the top 10% of UK Consultants. He was a former member of the Executive Committee and Council to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and was Convenor to the British Association for Community Child Health. He was a ministerial advisor to the Department of Work and Pensions on Disability Benefits and contributed to national policy on disability benefits for children. He is currently a member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Invited Review Panel, providing advice to service planning and re-modelling to NHS child health services nationally. He is a member of the Executive Committee of British Academy of Childhood Disability, leading on governance issues for the Academy.

          Dr Zaib Davids

          Position: CONSULTANT CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST
          Categories: *ADD, *ADHD, *Autism, *Eating Disorders, Psychiatrists

          Dr Zaib N S Davids has been a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at UCLH and Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL for 15 years.

          She specialises in the assessment and treatment of full range of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders including depression, self-harm, trauma, anxiety, adjustments to physical illness as well as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and psychosis.

          She has extensive experience in the treatment of complex psychosomatic conditions.

            Dr Roger Kennedy

            Position: CONSULTANT CHILD & ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST AND PSYCHOANALYST
            Categories: *ADD, *ADHD, *Autism, Directors, Psychiatrists

            Dr Roger Kennedy worked as a Consultant Family Psychiatrist in the NHS at the Cassel Hospital Richmond, for 29 years and was an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at Imperial College, London. He is trained as a Child Psychiatrist and a Medical Psychotherapist.

            He has extensive experience of providing courts and social services with expert opinion on multi-problem families as well as in private law cases, though he no longer appears in court. He also has considerable experience in assessing compensation cases. He is acknowledged as a leading expert in the field and has published several books and many papers. He sees adolescents, couples and families for therapeutic work, and offers assessments for children and parents, for emotional and behavioural problems, and does screening assessments for autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.

            Dr Kennedy is also a Training Psychoanalyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society and was their President 2004-6. He has an extensive psychoanalytic and psychotherapy practice for adults, has many years’ experience of teaching and training in the therapy field, and is often involved in presenting at conferences both in the UK and abroad.