Autism Spectrum Disorder- Assessment
The Sunflower Clinic offers a multi-disciplinary assessment service for children with suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder at all three clinic locations. A number of changes have been made to comply with newly issued HSE National Guidelines on safely conducting assessments during COVID-19.
Step 1: Parents fill out the questionnaire form and both parents/legal guardians must give consent and sign the Terms and Conditions. If the child is in school/crèche, the Teacher Questionnaire form needs to be completed.
Step 2: The completed forms will be reviewed by a clinician to ensure that it is an appropriate referral and our admin team will then contact you to arrange an assessment appointment. If the clinician has any concerns as to the appropriateness of an ASD assessment, they will contact you to discuss their concerns.
Step 3a: An assessment is carried out using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). This is completed by two clinicians (trained in its administration) – one directing and one observing through a window. The clinician will be wearing a mask and parents are required to wear a mask at all times. Typically for younger children aged 5 and below, the assessment takes 30-45 minutes. For older children it takes 45–60 minutes to administer.
Step 3b: A clinical interview is conducted by a senior clinician with the parents/caregivers, using the ADI-R tool. Due to COVID-19, this will be done by phone call or via Skype/Zoom, at your preference and takes approximately 1.5 – 2.0 hours to complete.
(Step 3a and 3b may be done in reverse order, depending on availability)
Step 3c: The results of the above assessments and all questionnaires are then combined into a structured multi-disciplinary report and considered by the team. If further information is required i.e. from a school teacher, then they will be contacted by phone. In certain circumstances, it may be decided by the clinical team that a school observation is required, which will be discussed with you in advance.
Step 4: The MDT report is then finalised and if results indicate, a diagnosis of ASD will be given by the team. A feedback session is then held with the parents by phone or Skype/Zoom to review the report, which will contain specific therapeutic and educational recommendations and may involve referral on to further therapists. If appropriate, educational supports will be discussed which need to be put in place.
Our MDT report is guaranteed to be accepted as a valid diagnosis of ASD by the HSE and Department of Education and follows international best practice. The Sunflower Clinic is able to offer a range of follow-on therapy supports specifically tailored for each child with a diagnosis of ASD.