Autism assessment services

In addition to providing mental health services, Dr Robyn Cooley (Chartered Clinical Psychologist) is professional lead for the Neurodiversity Team at Private GP, offering private Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; also now known as autism spectrum condition; ASC) assessment and diagnostic services to adults and children in the Midlands area. 

Based in Leicestershire, the Neurodiversity Team at Private GP benefits from the expertise of a wide range of health professionals including, Clinical Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, General Practitioners (with specialism in functional medicine), Nutritionists, Specialist Counsellors, and a Consultant Paediatrician. 

Private GP, Leicestershire

What is ASD?

Autism is neurodevelopmental condition where individuals may exhibit difficulties in particular areas of social interaction and communication. These may include speech delay, repetitive behaviours or highly focussed interests; sensory sensitivities; and limited use and understanding of non-verbal communication and gestures. Individuals with these types of difficulties can often struggle managing routines within their normal, everyday lives and may have problems establishing social rapport/relationships. As a result of their social misunderstanding, children with autism may sometimes be described as ‘naughty’ due to the unique way they communicate emotional distress or understanding of the world around them through behaviours that challenge. 

Private GP’s gold standard approach to assessment

Developed around national guidelines, the comprehensive service offers a gold standard approach to ASD diagnosis, with the overall goal to gain holistic understanding of the identified areas of concern. A minimum of 18 hours of professional time is allocated to each assessment, which as standard includes:

– a medical review of the individual

– a clinical consultation for parents with a clinical psychologist

– a direct observation and clinical assessment of the individual (this assessment is play-based for children and activity-based for adults)

– an assessment of cognition/intellectual difficulties

– liaison with your child’s school (if applicable)

– observation in the school environment (if application)

– a multidisciplinary team meeting

– a full diagnostic report, including recommendations which will be shared as part of a feedback appointment

– a session with a specialist counsellor to support you to think about next steps, including how to communicate the outcome with your child or young person

Due to this comprehensive level of assessment, the Neurodiversity Team at Private GP are expertly placed to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder and also advise on differential diagnosis, and/or co-existing conditions. 

You can read more information through the Private GP website. All enquiries relating to ASD assessment must be made to Private GP, and not Cooley Psychological Wellbeing. Contact details can be found on their website.

After the assessment: Private GP’s commitment to support for as long as you need it

Rather than simply providing a diagnosis, Private GP are also in the unique position of being able to offer focussed post-assessment support services to help families support their children to thrive and meet their potential. Due to the wide range of professionals, a tailored, individualised approach can be recommended to families depending on the needs of the child or young person. This may include additional support from specialist counsellors/therapists, psychologists, medical doctors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and nutritionists.

Why seek a diagnosis?

Not everyone who suspects that they or their child may have ASD may want to seek a diagnosis. However, for many, a diagnosis can have significant benefit. In particular, it can help you make sense of the difficulties your child is experiencing and can support you (and others) to compassionately understand some of the behaviours that you may see.

In understanding these difficulties as part of the autism spectrum, parents are more equipped to obtain focussed support to help them and their child manage their difficult experiences. This often helps young people with autism feel validated, understood and enabled in their everyday lives, allowing them to thrive and reach their potential.