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Frequently Asked Questions 

Does an assessment guarantee a diagnosis? 

We try to ensure that we only put people forward for a diagnostic assessment if there are enough indicators to suggest that it is warranted. However, having an assessment does not guarantee that a diagnosis will be made. Sometimes, this might be because there are markers that suggest aspects of neurodiversity but not at the threshold that a diagnosis requires. Sometimes there may be overlap with other diagnoses which mimic the symptoms of a neurodevelopmental condition but better explain the root causes. The assessment process is extremely comprehensive and as part of this process we look at multiple potential diagnoses. This is to rule out other possible explanations for symptoms or difficulties. Sometimes this means that recommendations are made for further diagnostic assessments or cognitive testing. Where possible, we try to identify this in the initial appointment, or at the very least as early in the process as we are able. We allow plenty of opportunity to discuss the rationale for any clinical decisions or recommendations made in the feedback session.

How long does a diagnostic assessment take? 


Unfortunately, there is no exact timescale that we are able to work to as there are many clinical variables that have to be taken into account. Diagnostic assessments are extremely comprehensive and are conducted over several appointments. Clinical interviews are a minimum of 3 hours, including structured assessments but are typically more. Some of this may be conducted online via zoom but typically one or more appointments will be face to face. Assessment reports require collating lots of information, from multiple sources and scoring and interpreting data from various assessments tools. It can take a minimum of two, but up to several weeks to gather the data. In order for a diagnosis to be concluded, we need to ensure there are no gaps in the information provided. 

Do you provide Post-Diagnostic Support?  

Whether a formal diagnosis is made or not, we offer support including a range of treatments, informed by an understanding of neurodiversity. These are are tailored to work with you or your loved ones, as individuals, by clinicians experienced in working with neurodiversity. This might be support understanding and adjusting to your diagnosis and perhaps seeing yourself or your difficulites through a new lens. This could include, where appropriate, adapted CBT, EMDR, or Counselling for co-occuring mental health difficulties or ADHD coaching. 

Are your assessments accepted by the NHS? 

All of our assessments are extremely comprehensive and led by senior clinicians who have extensive NHS experience or clinicians who currently also hold NHS posts. The process we carry out is similar to the process in the NHS and we provide comprehensive reports outlining each step and the rationale for diagnosis / conclusions. This should avoid any issues with a diagnosis not being accepted. However, as there is some variation within NHS trusts regarding their approach to private assessments, it is worth discussing this with your trust and your GP directly. 

Do you use a neuro-affirmative approach in your diagnostic sessions?


As a service, we adopt a neuro-affirmative approach. We do acknowledge diagnostic terminology if reports are to be used within statutory services. In order for diagnoses to be accepted, they would need to be in line with either the DSM-5 or ICD-11 Classification systems. We acknowledge that the language can be experienced as pathologising and therefore only endeavour to use it for the purposes of diagnosis. We see differences as reflecting a natural variation in the way our brains process information and experiences, within a spectrum that includes neurotypical experiences.

Do you cover/acknowledge PDA within your reports?


Our reports are psychology led. As psychologists, we are 'formulation-driven'. Formulations are very specific to an individual and they aim to help make sense of experiences or difficulties in a meaningful way. We do not tend to be wedded to particular labels but if there is a construct that is helpful to a client or something that they would like to explore, we would always be open to this Do you often work with autistics that present as female, or atypically? We work with clients across the gender spectrum. We do not wish to make assumptions based on gender but we do acknowledge the research base on differences in the way that autism or ADHD shows up for women and girls. We routinely screen for masking and consider this routinely in our assessments.

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