Child Autism Assessment
What you need to know
Speak to one of our specialists today regarding a private child Autism Assessment
Table of Contents
— CHILD AUTISM ASSESSMENT —
Autism in Children:
Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
Is your child showing symptoms that suggest they may have autism? Led by a highly specialist psychologist-therapist team, we offer private autism assessments to reach or rule out an autism diagnosis. If your child has autism, we can create a bespoke treatment plan to help them manage their symptoms.
Read on to learn more about what ASD is, the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder ASD in children and our approach to diagnosis and treatment, and criteria for a private child autism assessment.
What is child ASD?
ASD stands for autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition (at the most severe end, it is a condition that affects brain development). It’s usually diagnosed in childhood.
Autism is described as a spectrum disorder, as there is a wide variety in the type and severity of symptoms that people experience. Everyone with an autism diagnosis is on the spectrum — but some people are further along it than others.
ASD affects how a child perceives and interacts with other people. This can cause problems in communication and social interaction. Scientists are not certain why some people are further along the spectrum than others. Research suggests it is mainly down to several genetic factors. It is important to understand that autism is not due to the relationship between a child and their caregivers.
Child Autism Assessment / ASD FAQs
What to do if my child is under 5?
Lots of parents contact us about their concerns for a child under the age of five. It is understandable as there is lots of advice which states early intervention is key. So as a parent if you spot signs of difficulties and delayed development in children it is understandable to try and seek help.
Why then, is it so difficult to find a professional that will assess and treat your child under the age of 5?
The answer to this lies in the fact that most of the assessment tools available to professionals have not been designed for children under the age of 5. Therefore it is very difficult for a professional to assess difficulties such as autism with certainty under the age of 5. A secondary reason why professionals usually do not advocate diagnosis under 5 is that there is a real probability that your child’s difficulties fall in the normal range and therefore although delayed at the moment they are likely to catch up at some point in the future.
At Kove we understand how anxiety provoking it can be for parents, therefore we suggest doing the following if you are concerned about developmental difficulties with a child under five.
1) If you would like a diagnosis please go and speak to either your GP or a developmental paediatrician. There are many of these in the UK; some work in their own private practices and others are available in private hospitals such as the Portland.
2) If you want to help your child catch up developmentally and work on the difficulties that you can see you don’t need diagnosis. Kove recommends speaking to your local speech and language therapy team and occupational therapy team. These teams will be able to do direct work with your child who is under five, they will also be able to give you lots of advice and tips to practice at home.
We hope that this information has been helpful; however if you still have concerns please don’t hesitate to contact your local health visiting team as all children are open to their health visitor until they start school.
What does an autism evaluation for a child involve?
A comprehensive autism evaluation involves developmental assessment, interviewing parents about the child’s behaviors and early development, observing the child’s interactions and communication, and using autism diagnostic tools. For further information book a free consultation and speak to an expert today.
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Symptoms of autism in children
Recognizing the symptoms of autism in children is crucial for early intervention and support. While autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it manifests differently in each individual, there are certain common symptoms that can indicate its presence.
- Difficulties in social interaction and communication, such as trouble with eye contact, understanding nonverbal cues, and engaging in reciprocal conversations.
- Limited range of facial expressions and difficulty expressing emotions effectively.
Challenges in developing and maintaining friendships, often preferring to play alone or engage in repetitive activities.
- Preference for routine and sameness, becoming distressed when routines are disrupted.
- Displaying repetitive movements, such as rocking or hand-flapping, and sensitivity to sensory stimuli.
- Language and communication difficulties, including speech delays, echolalia, and trouble understanding and using gestures, facial expressions, and body language.
Remember that the severity and combination of these symptoms can vary among children with autism, and it’s essential to seek professional evaluation and support if you suspect your child may be showing signs of autism, call 0207 8560 464 today and speak with an expert alternatively book a free consultation
A child with severe ASD may have trouble with:
They often struggle with social interactions and have difficulty understanding and interpreting social cues, making it challenging for them to form and maintain relationships.
Communication can also be a significant hurdle, as they may have limited verbal skills or face challenges in expressing their needs and emotions effectively. Additionally, individuals with severe ASD may display repetitive and restrictive behaviors, engaging in repetitive movements or fixations on specific objects or topics.
They may also exhibit sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as noise or touch, which can lead to distressing experiences.
Overall, these difficulties can significantly impact the child’s ability to navigate the world and necessitate specialized support and interventions tailored to their unique needs.
At the mild end of the spectrum, children with ASD may struggle with:
Transitions (moving between activities)
Children with mild ASD may be inflexible in the way that they play and become upset or aggressive when things don’t go their way. Some children will develop specific interests and become obsessed with them.
They may become distressed if moved on from the activity. Some will struggle with eye contact, while for others this may be such a minor issue that is not noticeable. Many children with ASD have sensory issues. For example, finding the sensation of water either very distressing or enjoying it so much that it becomes obsessional. It is much more difficult to detect autism in girls as most of the research so far has been focused on boys.
Therefore, it’s important to find a specialist in this area if you have concerns about girls with autism. Dr Jenna Vyas-Lee is an autism specialist who can help to diagnose and treat children of all genders who may be experiencing ASD.
At Kove, we use tools which are considered the “gold standard” in autism diagnosis.
Firstly, we spend time with the child, following what is known as the Autism Diagnostic Schedule (ADOS-2). Then, we spend time with the parents, following what is known as the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI). We also gather information from the school or nursery. There is often more than one qualified clinician undertaking the assessment. The information we gather is assessed against internationally recognised criteria (DSM-5). Then, we can make decisions about the diagnosis. Once autism has been diagnosed, we can discuss a treatment plan to help your child manage their symptoms.
Who can diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Watch this video featuring Dr Jenna Vyas-Lee to find out who can diagnose autism.
A diagnosis and treatment plan is only needed when the impact of the symptoms is affecting day-to-day functioning. Effective treatment can improve day-to-day functioning for some children with ASD. Treatment aims to help a young person manage their condition to the best of their abilities. At Kove, we approach ASD treatment holistically. First, we set goals and expectations. Then, we think about which professionals need to be involved to help the young person live their life to the fullest. Treatment starts by looking at symptoms and can help manage emotional difficulties and behaviours. Several treatments have been developed for use with young children.
One of the models we use is adapted cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a tailored version of CBT to suit your child’s specific ASD symptoms. Adapted CBT can support parents, children and teachers to navigate the condition. We can also help you identify environments that are specially adapted for neurodiverse people. For example, ASD-friendly cinemas or specific ASD-friendly times at shopping centres. Our strong belief is that we should all be working together to ensure our communities are as inclusive as possible. There’s a huge need for neurotypical people to help adapt environments to make them more friendly to those who are neurodiverse.
Childhood Autism Specialist
Dr Jenna Vyas-Lee
Dr Jenna Vyas-Lee has assessed many children for neurodevelopmental disorders, she understands that parents often have many questions about the process and different treatment options. Jenna will spend as much time as required supportively guiding you through the process.
As a parent of two young boys she understands the importance of clear communication and access to quick and effective health care.
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” Our family have worked with both Jenna and Jordan over the last few years. We have found them both to go the extra mile to ensure that we received the help that was required. “
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