View providers that do ASD Assessments in our Providers database.
Getting a diagnosis – under 12 years
A free diagnosis is available to children under 12 years of age. This is available through the ACT Child Development Service (ACTCDS).
This may take some time as there is a waiting list to have an assessment done.
You will first need to talk to your GP and get a referral to either a paediatrician or a psychiatrist. The paediatrician/psychiatrist will conduct a medical assessment to eliminate any underlying medical conditions. A hearing test is also required before the assessment (for children under seven years). An appointment with either a paediatrician or psychiatrist will be an out-of-pocket expense, although you might be able to recoup some of this through Medicare.
View Paediatricians in our Providers database.
A community paediatrician is available through the ACT Child Development Service and incurs no out-of-pocket expense. However, there is a waiting list to see the community paediatrician. There is one located in Holder and one in Gungahlin.
An up-to-date developmental or cognitive assessment (from a school counsellor or psychologist) is also required.
Once they have ruled out any potential genetic, medical or hearing issues, and if an assessment is seen as being beneficial, you will be referred to the ACTCDS for an Autism assessment. In keeping with best practice standards in autism assessment, the assessment itself is multi-disciplinary, meaning it is done using a range of professionals as opposed to one individual. It involves standardised assessments conducted by a psychologist, speech pathologist and/or occupational therapist.
The assessment process can take some time, as there are a number of aspects to it.
- A multidisciplinary assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorders involving Observations of the person in their home and/or educational and other
- Consultation with significant others, such as allied health professionals, Child Health Medical Officers, paediatricians, education staff and
others involved with the person.
- Social work coordination and support is available throughout the assessment process.
- A multidisciplinary team/family feedback session to discuss the findings and implications of the assessment.
- A written report summarising the assessment findings is provided to the family and referring medical practitioner.
If the assessment is time-reliant, you have the option to have a private assessment done by a Psychologist. This will be an out-of-pocket expense of at least $1000.
Getting a diagnosis – over 12 years
Once the individual is over the age of 12, a private assessment is required. This assessment is done by a Psychologist and will incur an out-of-pocket expense of at least $1000.
Dr Paul Gooding is a GP in Gungahlin who can also do a private assessment (for clients 14 years and over), however he will need to supplement his assessment with a session from a clinical Psychologist. This, however, might be a cheaper alternative to a standard private assessment.