Thank you for your enquiry about obtaining an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessment. The information below has been provided to help inform you about your choices in the diagnostic process.
Diagnostic Assessment Criteria
A paediatrician, psychologist and speech pathologist must complete the Autism Spectrum diagnostic assessment.
To meet diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder, all three social communication criteria items and at least two of the four criteria items for restricted interests and repetitive behaviours must be met. These criteria are found in the DSM-V, which is a manual of diagnostic criteria used by medical professionals and allied health specialists. If you would like to discuss the criteria in more detail, feel free to contact us.
Autism Spectrum Diagnostic Assessment Process
To gain an accurate insight into the skills, abilities and behaviours of the client, assessment consists of multiple tasks that target different skills. An in-depth interview with the main care provider (and/or the client depending on their age and reporting abilities) is also completed. If more investigation is required, other sources such as the client’s daycare, school or workplace may be contacted, with your permission, to gain further examples of behaviours and help clarify the client’s skills and abilities across different settings.
If you have any questions in the diagnostic process, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic.
Private or Public
The diagnostic assessment can be completed through the public system (following a wait period) or through private services paid for by the client. If a paediatrician referral is provided for the diagnostic assessment, up to four (4) assessment sessions can receive a rebate through Medicare (of roughly $74.80 per assessment session). Private health rebates are also available depending on your chosen provider. Peach Speech Pathology has a HICAPS machine onsite, so you can claim private health refunds on the day of your session.
Jaimi-Lee Jefferies at Peach Speech Pathology is a qualified speech pathologist with many years of experience working with children with autism. She has also studied the Certificate in Autism Diagnosis, through the University of Western Australia, so is appropriately qualified to complete the speech pathologist portion of the diagnostic assessment.
Proceeding with the Diagnostic Process
If you would like to proceed with a private assessment, the first step would be to contact your paediatrician and ask for a referral letter under the helping children with autism (HCWA) Medicare scheme. As explained above, this scheme will allow for partial reimbursement for up to four (4) sessions. These can be used for any of the professionals listed above. The link below contains information about the HCWA (Helping Children With Autism) items. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/autism-children
Your GP should be able to make a referral to the public system waiting list. The Disability Services Commission Eligibility Team completes the public diagnostic assessments. The Disability Services Commission can be contacted on (08) 9426 9200.
If the client is successful in gaining a diagnosis, they may be eligible for state or federal funding. Australia’s support service funding is currently in a stage of transition. My Way or NDIS trial sites have replaced Federal funding in some areas of Western Australia. Despite the result of the assessment, if the client has significant difficulties, they may be eligible for National Disability Insurance (NDIS) funding. Peach Speech Pathology is a registered provider of all of these funding bodies. The link below can help you determine if you are eligible for funding to receive services.
We understand that the diagnostic process can be a confusing, emotional and time-consuming process; so if you have any questions or there is anything we can help with along the way, please do not hesitate to contact us.