What comprises Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism ?

Interveiw with parents and  child togather or separately as the wish of parents with their main concern,detail history of pregnancy,birth history,past medical history,family history,schooling and education,emotional and psychological issues if any.

Observation and assessment of developmental skills such as gross motor,fine motor,hand eye co ordination,interactive social,self care social,cognitive ability through different mental developmental assessment tools.

I may ask parents to complete some questionaires such as Connors for ADHD,CARS(Childhood Autism Rating score) for Autism orASDOS for Asperger Syndrome and others.

This whole process usully lasts 1- 1 1/2 hr to confirm the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism.

To reduce the waiting with uncertainity and anxiety of parents to find a diagnosis and ultimate treatment  I try my best to identify with a probable diagnosis  or a nearest possible diagnosis of the childs problem by the end of the first assessment session.With some complex cases where further information or investigations are required I will inform and explain parents with my opinion and possible suspecteed differential diagnosis. In some obvious cases it is possible to give a firm diagnosis after first assessment.

For patients from the UK, the ideal method of referral is through the own GPs, other consultants or  other health professionals.In some cases to facilitate quick assessment, identification and early intervention I also accept direct referrals from the parents.

The main components of my assessment specially if suspected of Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia, learning disability is going thorough detail history from pregnancy till to date from  parents about their concerns and their observation of the child because in my experience I strongly believe that parents know best about their children.While the interview goes on I keep close observation of the child in the clinic. Then if possible I use some special tools for neurodevelopmental assessment followed by neurological examination. All these tools of assessment and examination are non aggressive, rather child friendly externally administered.

After I have taken a full and thorough history, I turn my attention towards an examination and observation.But please note that my observation of the child starts right from the moment he or she enters the clinic room.

Continuing with the examination and observation if time permits ,child is not already tired or bored  I carry out a developmental assessment using different tools such as:

  1. Griffith Mental Developmental Assessment Tool
  2. Schedule of Growing Skills II
  3. 3DI Computer Test (for children suspected of Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome ,Atypical Autism,ADHD)
  4. Systemic neurological examination.
  5. May ask parents/teachers to complete;
    • a. Connor’s Questionnaires
    • b. ASDS Questionnaires
    • c. CARS questionnaires
    • d.CCH questionnaires etc.

Usually after assessment my action plans are as follows.

  1.  I will explain the diagnosis or probable diagnosis to the parents in the simplest and laymans language.
  2. In the case diagnosis is confirmed I will recommend an intervention plan and best therapeutic approach.
  3. Explain and discuss the right treatment approach suitable for the child.
  4. If there is any need for further investigation, I will advise and arrange .
  5. If the child has learning difficulty I will discuss and explain about educational plan including special education needs provision and statementing process and how to find help and support locally in nursery,in school and through local authorities such as health and education.
  6. If the child needs to be referred to any  speech therapist, physiotherapist ,occupational therapist,clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, with the agreement of the parents I would arrange the referral to the appropriate therapist.
  7. Finally I will take any question from parents.
  8. I am in the process of developing what I call”one stop shop ” arrangement for assessments where children will be offered joint multidisciplinary assessment with the same appointment.
  9. Email me with any question or query you may have about Autism,ADHD,Learning Difficulty,Dyspraxia or any neurodevelopmental problems on my email: dranismustafa@googlemail.com
  10. To book an appointment Call Telephone No 07494 526639
  11. I also offer 30 Min Skype Call Consultations.
  12. I am an approved insurance provider for BUPA,AXA PPP,NORWICH UNION ,Cigna and Standard Life.

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