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Many parents who have concerns about their child’s development are subject to long waiting lists and a ‘fragmented’ service in order to explore whether or not an Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ‘ASD’) is appropriate for their child to receive the support required to help them to achieve their potential.

At Therapy in Praxis, we have the extensive post-graduate professional training to allow us to look at a child’s engagement, performance, motivations, and capacity to learn using a holistic approach. Within this evaluation, it may be appropriate to consider whether a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder would be appropriate.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule -2nd Edition  (or ‘ADOS-2’) is the “gold standard” for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, at any age and developmental level, irrespective of language skill or level of functioning.

Professor Catherine Lord, Ph.D., principal author of the ADOS-2, describes its use in practice with children: “The interviewer selects which module to use based upon the age of the child and how well he or she can talk. Each module consists of about ten tasks that are designed to evoke different kinds of social behaviours, such as sharing and requesting, playing with someone and following, and enjoying attention. The test can be performed in not much more than half an hour during an office visit as part of the diagnosis. The idea is that to make a diagnosis, information from parents, because they know the child better than any clinician or researcher, should be combined with the observations of the clinician.”

In keeping with the ethos at Therapy in Praxis, the ADOS-2 is administered in a way which means that the child does not know they are being “assessed”.

The information from the ADOS-2 is combined with information from parents/ carers, collected during an in-depth standardised interview called the Autism Diagnostic Interview (Revised), or the ‘ADI-R’. The ADOS-2 and ADI-R in combination yield the most accurate results relating to the child’s development, and whether or not a diagnosis of ASD would be recommended.

Therapy in Praxis will provide a written report consisting of the standardised results from both the ADOS-2 and ADI-R, which will provide a diagnostic clinician with information required to formally provide a diagnosis. The report will also consider supplementary or dual diagnosis recommendations based on the holistic assessment process. We do not just ‘look for Autism’, but consider any other possible contributing factors to the difficulties that a child is experiencing. This in turn provides access to the most relevant support for the child.

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