NeuroDiversity Assessments- Adults

What can be assessed?

A variety of neurodiverse presentations can be assessed for, including:

  • AUTISM (previously Aspergers)

  • ADHD/ADD

  • Sensory Processing disorder

  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

 

Differential diagnoses are also screened for, which can include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and so forth. 

Why should I invest in having an assessment? 

An assessment can be helpful if you identify with any of the following:

  • You relate to many of the characteristics of neurodiversity 

  • Previous therapy hasn't worked

  • You feel like an outsider

  • Life seems easy for everyone else, but difficult for yourself

  • You have a feeling as though something is 'not quite right'

  • Friends, family, or therapists have suggested neurodiversity

  • You have a child or parent who is neurodiverse

  • You are curious and want to seek answers

  • Having a formal confirmation could assist with university or work environments

 

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What is involved in the assessment?

During the initial session, it will be discussed what aspects of NeuroDiversity you relate to, and how it came to be that you are seeking an assessment. 

A brief initial 'screening' assessment will be conducted in session one, and broad history taking will begin. It's important to get to know a bit about you first, before jumping into 'symptoms' or criteria. Broad history taking can include areas such as your interests, support network, lifestyle, study/employment, any significant health issues, your temperament , life goals, your strengths and challenges in life and as a person. The end of session one discusses the next steps of the assessment (depending on what will be focused on). You will be provided an estimate on how many sessions it will likely take to finish the assessment (usually 3-4 in total). 

 

After the first session, you will be asked to complete some 'between session' assessment tasks, for example, self-administered questionnaires, friend/family/partner questionnaires, specific tasks to acquire observations or information, and collating schools reports.  

Session two tends to focus predominantly on one's social and relationship history, dating right back to early months of childhood through to current functioning. This session also covers others areas of neurodiversity (e.g., sensory experiences, etc). Along the assessment process, differential diagnoses are also explored. 

 

Sessions three continues to focus more specifically on criteria and any differentials. By this stage, all of the written take home assessments and external information have also been integrated. Generally, at half time, we are able to shift into discussing the outcome of the assessment. ​​​It is also a great time to ask any questions you might have about neurodiversity (or differential diagnosis) and potential pathways forward. 

Each session is 50-minutes duration. At the beginning and end of each session, you will be invited to provide any feedback about the session before/current, or add any additional information that you think would be helpful.

What assessment methods are used?

As there are no 'gold standard' assessment questionnaires for adult NeuroDiversity (particularly autism), Lily uses a variety of methods in order to 'crosscheck' assessment accuracy and to ensure thoroughness of the assessment process. This includes:

  • Clinical interview

  • Self-report

  • Self-report questionnaires

  • Partner/family/friend questionnaires

  • Observations

  • Previous reports or information

  • Psychometric tools 

Formal assessment questionnaires are of good psychometric properties and are restricted to be used only by clinical psychologists. 

What domains are typically assessed? 

As every person is unique, an individual approach will be taken to develop the right assessment domains for you. As a baseline, all assessments involve  history taking in the following areas:

  • Developmental 

  • Educational/Academic

  • Social

  • Personality traits

  • Employment

  • Health/illnesses

  • Family history or relationships

  • Family history of health/illness

  • Significant life events

 

Further assessment in other areas using psychometric tests, can include:

  • Executive functioning (e.g., working memory, planning. emotion regulation, adaptability) 

  • Social Responsiveness

  • Coping

  • Attention/concentration 

  • Anxiety & Mood disorders

  • Personality disorders

  • Other clinical psychological conditions

How do I prepare?

It can be helpful to have the following done before the initial session:

  • Previous psychology reports or letters

  • Any reports or assessments done in childhood such as from speech therapists, paediatricians, occupational therapists. 

  • Any school reports that you might have, particularly from early ages (e.g. kindergarten to grade 8)

  • Notes or dot points of anything you think might be important for Lily to know for your assessment (please do not email this, rather keep it by you to refer to during sessions).