High Quality Autism and ADHD Assessments and post-diagnostic support in Brighton and Hove
The only acceptance that really matters is self-acceptance.
Autism and ADHD Assessment and Post-Diagnostic support
Not having an understanding of why you, or a loved one, might be struggling can be really confusing or distressing. You might find that you are constantly trying to fit in with neurotypical expectations, which can be painful and does not serve your wellbeing. Naturally, this can impact on things like self-esteem, mental health and general functioning.
Diagnostic clarity aims to help to you understand yourself, or your loved one, better. Everyone is different, in terms of how they experience the world. Having a better understanding of those individual differences can help with increasing awareness, self-acceptance and getting the right support in place, if needed.
Our assessments are psychology led and meet the recommended standards for Diagnosis. Recommendations for treatment, if required, will also form part of the assessment.
We also offer post-diagnostic support including adapted CBT and EMDR delivered by clinicians who are experienced in working with neurodiversity.
How can I find out more?
How does the process work?
We recommend an initial Psychological Assessment with one or two of our clinical psychologists, depending on the nature of the assessment. This appointment will help you to decide whether a formal diagnostic assessment is necessary or indicated. If clinically appropriate and you would like to proceed the next stage would be to carry out structured standardised assessments which support diagnoses. Structured assessments might be carried over one or several appointments, depending on how many assessments are required and what sources of information are used. Assessments with children often require additional appointments for school / home observations or interviews with other adults caring for the child as sources of collateral information.
What Structured Assessments do you use?
The assessments we use follow recommended guidelines. This includes the use of NICE recommended 'gold standard' structured assessments such as the ADOS-2 and ADI-R, to support autism diagnoses and Connors, ACE, and DIVA to support ADHD diagnoses. Structured assessments will be determined based on clinical relevance. ADHD Assessments now also include a QB check.
Do you use any other Tools to guide your assessments?
Our Assessments draw on a range of sources of information, including the use of a various diagnostic screening tools which may be based on self-report or the reporting of an informant such as a parent or teacher. We also use objective measures such a the QB Check when ADHD is suspected. The measures and tests used will be determined by the leading clinician.
What is a QB Check?
A QB check is a computerised test that can only be administered and interpreted by suitably qualified professionals. It provides an objective measurement of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention to aid in the assessment of ADHD. It can also be to evaluate treatment interventions with clients diagnosed with ADHD as it allows us to see where improvements have been made. The test takes between 15-20 minutes, depending on age range. Test results will be interpreted by a Clinical Psychologist and will inform the report and diagnosis.
How much does a diagnostic assessment cost?
Initial Consultation (Pre-assessment) with Clinical Psychologist/ Clinical Lead £210 (60 Minutes)
Formal Diagnostic Autism Assessment + (Adult) £1,600
Formal Diagnostic Autism Assessment (Child) £1,950
QB Check + Report Only £250
Adult ADHD Assessment + QB Check £1,100
Child ADHD Assessment + QB Check £1,250
Joint ADHD and Autism Assessment + QB Check (Adult) £2,500
Joint ADHD and Autism Assessment + QB Check (Child) £2,900
Cognitive Assessment - Fees Vary
Unless a full cognitive assessment is required the length of the assessment will determine the fee.
Occasionally additional appointments are required to gather further clinical information, these are charged at £150 per hour. This tends to be when there is a lot of information to collate or additional information is needed from informants.
What is included in the Initial consultation / Pre-assessment?
The Pre-assessment is a consultation to determine which diagnostic assessments are required, if any. Typically, we would recommend an initial appointment with two clinicians, unless there is enough clinical information to indicate otherwise. Prior to the appointment, you will be sent a battery of screening questionnaires, which will be scored and interpreted. You will also be sent a questionnaire to complete with your full developmental and clinical history. If clinically indicated, you may also be asked to complete a QB Test which is a computerised test which provides an objective measure of ADHD.
Following this, you will be contacted to discuss the outcome of the appointment and next steps. If the outcome is that we do not think that a diagnostic assessment is indicated, we would discuss our rationale and other potential next steps. If relevant, we would also discuss alternative diagnosis (es).
What is included in the diagnostic assessment?
The assessment will include clinical interviews or observations with the person seeking a diagnosis and adult informants, where the child or young person is under 18 (i.e. parents, teachers etc.). For adult assessments we also include interviews with informants where possible i.e. partners, parents etc.
In addition to this, the assessment includes at least one structured or standardised assessment, or potentially multiple, depending on what is clinically appropriate. These are tools used to gather further clinical information in a structured way, which is recommended by good practice guidelines. This may be with a Senior Clinical Psychologist or Specialist Occupational Therapist (OT).
The process includes reading and reviewing any relevant reports (i.e. from schools, Educational Psychologists (PsychEd's), Occupational Therapists (OT), Speech and Language Therapists (SALT), Paediatricians, GP's, occupational health or other relevant assessments carried out). Where appropriate, screening questionnaires will be sent out, scored and interpreted in relation to the other clinical information gathered.
Following the assessment, you will receive a comprehensive report with the findings, a rationale for the clinical diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
You will have a chance to discuss this in a feedback session. If appropriate, onward referrals can be made for treatment or further support. This might include joint working with other professionals such as Occupational Therapists (OT's), Speech and Language Therapists (SALT's), or linking in with Psychiatry, for medication.
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.