Autism Services for Children
Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can affect each child differently. The right diagnosis means your family can move forward with confidence, knowing your child can access the expert support they need to thrive.
We’re with you every step of the way
How an autism assessment works
To be able to help your child in the most positive way, we first need to fully understand their neurodevelopmental makeup and needs. Our specialist team will conduct a thorough, expert assessment to ascertain if your child is or is not autistic.
If you’re worried that your child may be autistic, our free screening process will give clarity and insight. It will be carried out by our psychology team, led by a consultant clinical psychologist. If the results are indicative of autism, we’ll recommend a full diagnostic assessment to give a definitive answer.
Information Gathering - school/pre-school report
We ask your child’s school to fill in a report form and an online screening questionnaire, so we can understand their behaviour in different social settings. This helps our clinical team with their assessment and to better understand your child’s strengths and needs. If your child is home-schooled, don’t worry, this won’t affect the assessment. We will ask for a report from another suitable professional, or someone outside of the home who knows your child well.
The assessment brings together the expertise of a clinical psychologist, speech and language therapist or occupational therapist and a paediatrician, or child and adolescent psychiatrist. On the assessment day, we will work with your child in a playful way to observe their behaviour, using the ‘gold standard’ ADOS-2. This also includes a thorough review of your child’s development from your perspective, plus a school report that we’ll obtain from their teacher (or another suitable professional). Our team will then discuss all findings and present these to you, along with the outcome, immediately after the assessment is complete.
Working closely together, our team will produce a comprehensive report giving a full breakdown of the assessment. The outcome will be clear and easy to understand and include our recommendations for post-assessment support and adjustments for both home and school. As our assessments are fully NICE compliant, we provide peace of mind that our diagnostic reports and outcomes should be fully accepted by both the NHS and schools/colleges.
Following your child’s autism assessment, whether they are diagnosed or not, our expert team will guide you on what support options are available to you at Psicon. These include therapeutic support packages provided by expert clinical psychologists within our children’s wellbeing service.
Cherishing unique minds
Neurodiversity is part of being human; a fact of life for many millions of children and adults alike. And having a neurodevelopmental (ND) condition doesn’t mean you have a disease that needs to be cured, but that your neurological functions are organised differently to people who are neurotypical. It’s your unique mind.
However, neurodevelopmental differences can cause great distress when not recognised or understood. Once fully assessed and diagnosed, we can offer tools, support and therapies to help individuals move forward with positivity, peace and productivity.
Some words from our patients
To give you an idea of how we work and how we might help you.
I was made to feel at ease straight away
The doctor was very patient and understanding and I was treated with the utmost respect. I came away feeling well informed and I have a plan moving forward for my condition.
Fantastic clinic. I would highly recommend.
I chose to go here to get diagnosed with autism privately. Sadly I have been let down by the NHS since my childhood in the 1980’s and I decided I had to go private, but I would say it was worth every penny and the long drive from my home. Lovely professional staff. Thank you.
Thank you once again for all of your help Psicon!
An outstanding company. Are always willing to help on the phone with any questions, concerns or problems. I would recommend them to anyone.
Quick efficient service.
I could not have been happier with timescales, responses and communication.
The centre is a lovely welcoming place and the professionals put my highly anxious son at ease.
We went to the children's centre to get my son aged 17, a private Autism assessment. From the start the staff were informative and helpful. The centre is a lovely welcoming place and the professionals put my highly anxious son at ease. In fact he even asked when we were going back! After negative experiences with the NHS and school, my son felt that he could finally access support that was right for him. Thank you 😊
Would highly recommend Psicon for any assessments
Absolutely amazing with my son, very easy to talk to and my son loved interacting with the staff.
I would recommend this service to anyone that I know.
I attended the practice in June of 2022. The practice had such welcoming and kind staff members. This really eased any anxieties I had about going to the practice, and set a very calming atmosphere.
Excellent communication and explanation throughout the assessments.
All staff seemed very knowledge, were prompt and courteous and we were given a conclusion by the end of the assessment
From the minute we arrived staff were welcoming and professional.
From the minute we arrived staff were welcoming and professional. Thank you for listening and helping my son to be as comfortable as possible. You were so attentive to his ways and the consultant, speech and language therapist had extensive knowledge and were able to pick up on things I wasn’t even aware of. The support throughout was amazing, everything was explained in detail and I would definitely recommend Psicon to others. Thank you again.
All practitioners were friendly, understanding and really knowledgeable
All practitioners were friendly, understanding and really knowledgeable and informative about autism, but also girls and autism. They managed to put my anxious daughter at ease. They listened carefully, and were responsive to what we were saying. They also gave helpful suggestions to think about with the school and within the family.
They treated me like I was a person
They treated me like I was a person and demonstrated they treat each individual on a case to case base using treatments tailored to the individuals needs. They listened without judgement offering to treat individuals with complex needs.
The sessions were well organised. The psychologist was outstanding and it was like they knew me after just a couple of sessions. I would 100% recommend this service. I feel so much better and am going forward with several tools to keep me mentally healthy. I cannot recommend this service enough.
As a parent, it gave me the reassurance that my daughter will grow up knowing how her mind works
My daughter came out of her ADHD assessment feeling very positive about herself and empowered. As a parent, it gave me the reassurance that my daughter will grow up knowing how her mind works and what she needs to put in place to help herself along the way. We are very grateful to have been given such high quality care.
All staff are trained immaculately!
All staff are trained immaculately! Very kind, very helpful. Just wonderful. I could not have asked for a better service!
Frequently Asked Questions
We're here to answer your questions
Taking the first steps to understanding why your child feels different, unhappy, or is struggling takes courage. We’re here to help you make sure you find the right support for your child and your family.
Will a private diagnosis be accepted by the NHS and my child’s school?
Our assessments fully comply with NICE guidelines, and we use the highest quality and well-regarded clinical model within our service. Importantly, the child will be seen by a doctor (paediatrician or psychiatrist) as part of the assessment, which isn't always the case with private assessments. We are also a trusted NHS provider and often support different NHS Trusts and ICBs with waiting lists. This means a diagnosis made by our service should be accepted by the NHS and schools/colleges.
What if the assessing clinicians don’t see what I see (masking)?
Having assessed thousands of children for autism, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our assessments are designed to take masking and camouflaging into account – especially in females. Our team are very well trained in understanding the female presentation of autism and are aware that traits and symptoms can be trickier to see.
My child’s school don’t have any concerns, so how will this affect the assessment?
We always take the school’s observations into account, as this is an integral part of the assessment. To diagnose autism, it must be clear in multiple environments. As school is very structured, it is often a great place to be able to see it. However, if school does not report any observations of autistic traits, it does not mean there will be no diagnosis, as there can be other reasons for this. Autistic children can be ‘model’ students as they follow rules very well and quietly get on with their work. They can mask and make it seem like all is well but then have a ‘meltdown’ as soon as they get home. Our team are very familiar with this and will take everything into account when assessing.
How long is the waiting list?
This often depends upon how quickly parents and schools can return the pre-assessment information, but once we've received all questionnaires, we aim to provide an assessment appointment within four to six weeks.
Is autism different in girls?
Whilst the assessment process and diagnostic criteria are the same across the gender spectrum, it is true that autistic girls can present very differently to autistic boys. The criteria on which a diagnosis is made is largely known to be associated with symptoms in boys and men, and this can mean that girls who are autistic may go undiagnosed. Boys often present their symptoms in a more obvious or ‘stereotypical’ way, whereas girls may have more subtle traits. This is because they often learn how to hide their symptoms (mask) in order to fit in with their peers. Having assessed thousands of children for autism, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our assessments are designed to take masking and camouflaging into account – especially in girls. Our team are very well trained in understanding the female presentation of autism and that traits and symptoms can be trickier to see.
Get in Touch
We're with you at every step
Everyone’s mind is unique. Many of us are neurodiverse. And while the neurological differences that make us individuals can bring challenges, we believe that with understanding, empathy and expert support, everyone can thrive.