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Autism assessment service


Children, Young people

Available in:

Haringey, Hertfordshire

We help people with

What we do

We assess children and young people for autism. Autism is a condition that might explain why someone has difficulties with social interaction, communication and relationships. Some young people are interested in having an assessment for autism. However, others can feel nervous about what it might involve and what the outcome might be.

What to expect

When you reach the top of our waiting list, a member of our team will get in contact to start your assessment. They are called your ‘assessment lead’ and are your main point of contact. Your assessment lead arranges a meeting with you and your family to introduce themselves, and talk to you about the process of the assessment. They will also gather some up to date information on the issues you have been experiencing, as well as further information on your school, family life, medical history etc. They will also request some information from your school by sending them a questionnaire or calling them on the telephone.

Your assessment lead then has a separate appointment with your parents (either online or in person) to talk about your development from the time you were born up to the present. This is called a ‘developmental history’. The appointment lasts about an hour and a half.

You will then be invited to come to the clinic for an individual meeting with another member of our team, to explore how you communicate and interact. It lasts about one hour. In this appointment, we often complete a particular assessment called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS 2). We will explain more about the ADOS 2 when we meet – it involves some conversation and a few activities, such as puzzles and short tasks. It is not a test or exam, so please don’t worry about getting the answers right or wrong!

In some cases it may be helpful for us to meet you for some further appointments. These might be at the clinic or at your school/college. If we do think this would be helpful, your assessment lead will talk to you beforehand about why we think they would be helpful and what they are for.

Feedback, follow up and discharge

Once we have completed all the assessment appointments the assessment lead invites you and your family for a ‘feedback’ meeting. They will discuss the outcome of the assessment, including whether we think you meet criteria for autism. Either way, they will talk to you about what support we recommend you might find helpful, and
what support services are available in your area.

After this appointment your assessment lead writes a report and sends it you and your family.

They will then offer you a follow up appointment to discuss your assessment more. This is an important opportunity for you to ask us any more questions you have. Your parents may be invited to a parents group session to help them think about how best to support you.

They will finish by discussing plans for closing your case to our service, as your assessment has been completed. Your parents may be invited to a parents group session to help them think about how best to support you.

Flowchart: What does an autism assessment involve?

  1. We receive your referral
    Referrals usually come from your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (called CAMHS)
  2. Wait list
    We provide advice about the support available for you and your family whilst you are waiting.
  3. Assessment: Family meeting with assessment lead
    You are allocated an assessment lead who invites you for a meeting with you and your family. This marks the start of your main assessment.
  4. Developmental history
    Your Assessment Lead will meet your with parents or carers either online or in person to gather information about your development when you were younger.
  5. Individual assessment
    Meet another member of the team to complete a few tasks , activities and talk about different areas of your life. We often complete the ‘ADOS 2’ during this meeting.
  6. Additional assessments
    May be helpful in some cases – we will explain what they are for and what they involve if we think they are needed.
  7. Feedback appointment
    A meeting for you and your family with your Assessment Lead to talk about the outcome of your assessment.
  8. Follow up appointment
    A chance to talk more about the outcome of your assessment.
  9. Discharge
    We close your case to our service and send the final report to the referrer, your GP and anyone else you think it would be helpful to have a copy.

How to access this service

We see young people who have been referred for an assessment by another professional- for example your GP or the doctor or therapist seeing you in CAMHS.

After we have received a referral for you, we look at the information provided to help decide whether to place your case on our waiting list. We will write a letter to you to let you know, with advice on the support that will be available in your area whilst you are waiting.

What previous patients say

This is really going to be life changing for me. I cannot thank you enough for the service you offered me... They listened to me, they took my feelings into account. They understood me
The service was excellent, informative and efficient. It has made a huge difference to our lives.