Side by Side Psychology provides assessments to help with a variety of questions about your child’s development. They are also available to conduct these assessments for teens and adults. We are experienced in completing assessments related to understanding whether an individual is autistic, whether there are learning differences that fit a specific criteria and whether the learning style and needs requires specific support and what that support should look like. We complete a variety of assessments such as standardised tests, in depth interviews and observation to answer those questions.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the collective term for a group of neurodevelopmental brain differences characterised by differences in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and by repetitive patterns of behaviour and restricted interests (National Guidelines for ASD assessment, 2017).
This term has been in use in the medical and allied health profession for the past 7 years, but others may also be familiar with the term Aspergers Syndrome or Autistic Disorder. ASD includes these terms as well.
ASD is only one of many physical and mental health conditions that can affect an individual, and there are many instances in which atypical neurodevelopment may have significant impacts on an individual, but not necessarily mean the individual is autistic. Even when ASD is strongly suspected, diagnostic assessments must appraise the full range of clinical symptoms and how these have emerged within the environmental context in which the person lives (National Guidelines for ASD assessment, 2017).
Due to the complexity of ASD, the diagnostic process needs to be thorough and completed by a suitably experienced professional who is qualified in this task. Also in line with the recommendations from the Australian Guidelines of Autism Assessment, the assessment should not only answer whether the observed behaviours meet criteria, but also what are the key strengths of this individual and how going forwards can changes be made to support this individual in their environment.
Side by Side Psychology is committed to completing assessments that are respectful and focused on the strengths of the neurodivergent individual, so that your experience of undergoing this assessment process is not soley focused on the deficits based medical model process.
Other Psychological Assessments
Below are the information sheets you can download, detailing the different kinds of assessments that are commonly completed:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is another neurodevelopment condition that psychologists often are asked to assist with diagnosing. It is also a condition that is diagnosed by observing and understanding traits that are the result of a brain difference. Unlike mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders, these patterns of behaviour are a difference to their usual state. Wheras if you are diagnosed with ADHD, it is not something that will be treated and then resolves, as it is a part of the way a person’s brain is.
ADHD is frequently observed in individuals who are also Autistic and there is some overlap between these to conditions as they are currently described. Some of the traits and experiences include distractibility, poorer concentration, difficult with organisation, risk taking, strong emotional responses and hyperactivity.
Each individual’s pattern of traits and behaviour will differ and a child’s presentation can be quite different compared to a teens, compared to an adults. These assessments are comprehensive and can be done as a distinct assessment or as part of a larger autism or educational assessment.
This assessment includes assessing cognitive ability and academic achievement.
Developmental/Intellectual Disability Assessments
This assessment includes assessment of cognitive ability and daily living skills, often to determine whether a child has an intellectual disability.