Multi-disciplinary private assessment

Assessment and Diagnosis for autism in children and adults

The Toby Henderson Trust offer private autism assessments for children, young people and adults. We are also commissioned by CCGs in a number of North Eastern localities and the Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) to undertake assessment and diagnosis for autism in children and adults. This is over a range of locations ie: Newcastle/Gateshead, South Tyneside and Northumberland.

We are a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, who have been working within the field of autism for 20 years, the last 5 of which have been heavily invested in assessment and diagnostic work.

The Toby Henderson Trust’s clinical team consists of staff who are experienced and skilled in the assessment and diagnostic process.

The team members include a Practitioner Psychologist, Autism Nurse Consultants, Specialist Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists, Autism Nurse Practitioners and the Autism Service Manager and Play Specialist. A number of the clinicians also have teaching qualifications and are registered nurses.

private assessment stretched

The Toby Henderson Trust have a clear and transparent assessment pathway. Dependent upon the age and functioning of the individual this consists of the following:

For a child / young person aged up to 11 years, a complete Neurodevelopmental History will be taken from parents / carers, gaining comprehensive information about the individual from pregnancy and birth up to present day and current concerns. Advice is also sought from school about their education and social / emotional presentation. A Play Based Observation is also completed using a set of activities, toys and social interaction. The findings and reports gleaned from the above are then taken to a Multi Disciplinary Team Meeting for consideration where the diagnostic outcome and decision will be agreed. Should further clarity be required at this point, one additional element can be carried out, an ADOS-2. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) is an individually administered task based assessment, which is semi-structured and can provide a standardised measure for a person’s social communication skills. The ADOS was designed to contribute to a clinical diagnosis but not to provide a diagnosis in it’s own right.

The ADOS consists of five separate modules. Each module is designed to provide lots of opportunities for the person to demonstrate their ability to communicate clearly, relate socially and to use imagination and creativity to engage in tasks. The most appropriate module for the individual is selected on the basis of their language.

Feedback from Parent, October 2021

“Firstly, I’d like to start off by saying thank you to all involved at TTHT for making the path to diagnosis a smooth and accessible process. NHS waiting lists are so long , the services you offer are a lifeline.  My son really enjoyed the play assessment (and he was hoping he would have to go back for more!) and all the staff involved from start to finish have been so helpful and approachable.
Honestly can’t thank you all enough. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster day! (Still a shock even when you’re kind of expecting it!).  You all made us feel so welcome and at ease – it’s very obvious you’re passionate about what you do.
I think this has to be the best money we’ve ever spent (the relief of knowing the outcome so quickly!) and the fact that you have made it accessible to families with very reasonable costs and plans is just amazing.
Everyone we have dealt with has been lovely from beginning to end”.

In the case of adult assessments, the pathway consists simply of the Developmental History, ADOS-2 and MDT, where the clinical team meet to review and discuss the information we have in line with the diagnostic criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (edition 5) known more commonly as DSM-5 for autistic spectrum disorders.

Well considered diagnostic decisions are made by the team and the outcome is shared with the parents, carers / client, as well as their GP (and schools/ educational setting where appropriate). All reports are made available to the client(s), for them to share if they so wish. The reports are their property.

The cost for assessments can vary dependent upon the elements involved, time for consideration and whether additional information gathering is required. Our diagnostic pathway and process usually takes an average of 10 – 12 weeks for children (but may be more timely). Historically, adult assessments do tend to take less time.

Should you wish to discuss this further please feel free to contact us.