Funding For Assessment And Diagnosis Of Autism
You can have your child assessed for autism through the public or the private health system.
Public assessment services are funded through your state or territory government and are often run through hospitals or health services. These are offered at no cost to families, but many have long waiting lists.
The other option is to be assessed privately. A private assessment can be expensive, and there might also be a waiting list.
You can claim a rebate from Medicare to help with some of the costs of the assessment sessions, but theres still an out-of-pocket expense, and youll need to cover the full cost of any more assessment sessions. You might also be able to claim some of the fees through your private health fund, if you have one.
When youre deciding whether to go through the public or private system for assessment, these questions can help:
- Is there a waiting list? How long will it take before we get our first appointment?
- How long will it take until the assessment is finished and we get the results?
- How many sessions will you need with me and my child?
- Can I claim anything back from Medicare?
- Can you give me an estimate of my out-of-pocket expenses?
- Does it cost extra for the report about my childs results?
You can prepare for an autism assessment by writing down your concerns about your child, including examples of things youve noticed. Its also good to include any concerns that your childs school has raised.
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How Autism Is Diagnosed
If you or your pediatrician think your child is showing symptoms of autism, you’ll be referred to a specialist who treats ASD. Specialists may include child psychologists, child psychiatrists, pediatric neurologists, or developmental pediatricians.
The specialist will review your child’s medical history. Your child may be given tests to evaluate intelligence, behavior patterns, social and communication skills, and developmental history. These can include:
Before the DSM-5, a child had to show delays in social interaction and communication before age 3 to be diagnosed with autism. Now, there’s a little more flexibility. The symptoms just have to be present from an “early age.”
This can still be too strict for people with mild symptoms. For them, signs may not be obvious until they’re older and clearly unable to keep up socially with others their age. A later diagnosis is especially common with girls.
Girls with autism are less likely to engage in repetitive behaviors and don’t act out as much as boys. They’re more likely to be seen as shy and withdrawn, which parents and teachers may consider “expected” for girls in general, meaning they go undiagnosed longer.
Signs Of Aspergers In Teens
Aspergers may go unnoticed until your child reaches puberty. Thats when he or she faces physical and hormonal changes along with more social and educational challenges.
Every teen experiences Aspergers differently, but general signs may include:
- Trouble taking turns during conversations
- Difficulty interpreting social cues, body language, tone of voice and facial expressions
- Struggles to empathize with or understand the perspective of others
- Difficulty staying on task and understanding or following directions
- Inappropriate eye contact
- Behavior problems, including aggression, outbursts or isolation
- Struggle to regulate emotions
- Rigid need for routine and structure
- Lack of motor coordination
- Sensory sensitivity to textures, lights, and sounds
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Living With Aspergers Syndrome
If your child was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome or ASD, developing relationships for him or her will take practice and effort. A person diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome may not display appropriate emotions , may not understand the irony in a joke, abstract concepts, or the subtle points of a conversation. Peers may feel like their behavior is eccentric.
Although Aspergers syndrome or ASD cannot be cured, therapy can help. Your child can be successful at school and in their adult life. In fact, many employers say that the focus and attention a person with Aspergers syndrome or ASD gives to his or her job is a good thing. Adults diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome or ASD may continue to need therapy or counseling to teach appropriate personal and workplace behavior.
Benefits For Autistic Children
There are a range of benefits available to families with children, and some benefits which are paid for children with disabilities in particular. This information is for parents of children aged under 16.
We also have information about benefits for autistic adults, and information about benefits for young autistic people .
Should I Get My Child Assessed
You should get your child assessed for ASD if:
- you have concerns
- you notice any signs or symptoms
- your child has a close relative with ASD
Normally, your health care provider will test your child first. You can help your health care provider understand the unusual behaviour you see by:
- taking photographs
- maintaining logs or diaries
- capturing these behaviours on video
If there are concerns, then your health care provider should refer you to a specialist for more tests. A specialist is the best person to help diagnose your child.
He Was Obsessed With Airplanes
If your partner is on the Autism Spectrum, there is a good chance that he has a few interests that he is extremely passionate about almost to the point of clinical obsession. My client recollects stories of her boyfriend staying up all night when he received a new book on his special interest or if he discovered something online about it that he hadnt previously known. Sometimes, she felt that the interests were more important than their relationship as her partner would spend his free time researching the interest, instead of spending time with her.
How You Get A Diagnosis
If you notice signs in your child, see your pediatrician. They can refer you to a mental health expert who specializes in ASDs, like one of these:
Psychologist. They diagnose and treat problems with emotions and behavior.
Pediatric neurologist. They treat conditions of the brain.
Developmental pediatrician. They specialize in speech and language issues and other developmental problems.
Psychiatrist. They have expertise in mental health conditions and can prescribe medicine to treat them.
The condition is often treated with a team approach. That means you might see more than one doctor for your child’s care.
The doctor will ask questions about your child’s behavior, including:
- What symptoms do they have, and when did you first notice them?
- When did your child first learn to speak, and how do they communicate?
- Are they focused on any subjects or activities?
- Do they have friends, and how do they interact with others?
Then they’ll observe your child in different situations to see firsthand how they communicate and behave.
Difference No : Theres Rarely A Language Delay
One big difference between autism and Aspergers is that kids with autism tend to start talking later. Those with Aspergers usually dont experience a language delay.
While children with autism often seem aloof, those with Aspergers usually want to interact with others.
Though they welcome conversation, kids with Aspergers do find it difficult to communicate and may come off as socially awkward.
Difficulty maintaining eye contact and reading facial expressions, and speaking without emotion are signature traits of Aspergers. Children and adults with Aspergers also find it difficult to recognize and express their own feelings.
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Difficulties In Social Communication And Interaction
Does your child have difficulty understanding the expectations of others within conversations?
According to the NAS, people with Aspergers tend to have good verbal skills, but may struggle to read other people or express their own emotions. They may perhaps repeat what the other person has just said or talking at length about their own interests.
I Feel Like He Was Always Lecturing Me
People on the spectrum have a tendency to go into long boring monologues on their special interests or opinions and without an internal social meter to tell them they are not being well-received or are going on too long they have a tendency to come across as one-sided and even sanctimonious in some cases. Many adults with ASD do not realize they are doing this and thus do not think it is a problem or a behavior they should change. Because feelings and emotions make them uncomfortable, they tend to intellectualize subjects which may make them come across as cold and unfeeling.
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Autistic People May Act In A Different Way To Other People
Autistic people may:
- find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
- find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
- find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
- get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
- take longer to understand information
- do or think the same things over and over
If you think you or your child may be autistic, get advice about the signs of autism.
How Aspergers And Autism Are Similar
While there are some differences between Aspergers and autism, the disorders share a lot of the same symptoms. Children with both conditions may have:
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Problems expressing feelings or emotions
- Trouble maintaining eye contact
- Sensitivities to certain foods or sounds
- Issues with motor skills
- A desire to follow strict schedules
- An obsession with specific subjects
Both kids with autism and those with Aspergers may be perceived by others as awkward in social situations. Additionally, engaging in hand-flapping is common in those with both disorders.
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Repetitive Behavior And Autism
Stereotypy is apparently purposeless movement, such as hand flapping, head rolling, or body rocking. Compulsive behavior is intended and appears to follow rules, such as arranging objects in a certain way. Sameness is resistance to change for example, insisting that the furniture not be moved or refusing to be interrupted. Ritualistic behavior involves the performance of daily activities the same way each time, such as an unvarying menu or dressing ritual. This is closely associated with sameness and an independent validation has suggested combining the two factors. Restricted behavior is limited in focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program. Self-injury includes movements that injure or can injure the person, such as biting oneself. Dominick et al. reported that self-injury at some point affected about 30% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. No single repetitive behavior seems to be specific to autism, but only autism appears to have an elevated pattern of occurrence and severity of these behaviors.
Support Available For Autistic Children When Becoming Teenagers
Some local authorities have charities operating within them, so search the website of your local author to see what support is available. Some offer buddying volunteers for young people with autism who would otherwise have no peer friendships, while others provide support groups for parents and advice on how to navigate the Education, Health and Care Plan process.
For more details on Aspris Children’s Services, please call 0118 970 8068 or
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Living With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Because doctors now consider AS to be a part of ASD, people with an AS diagnosis may now be able to access services for autistic people.
There is a consensus that AS and ASD are not conditions that require support services. An autistic persons behavior may simply be different from what society expects.
However, a person may have trouble with certain aspects of their AS or ASD. For anyone who requires support, the following options may help:
Loss Of Language Or Social Skills
Children with autism may seem unwilling to speak or verbalize even though they used to do so. For example, a baby who used to babble or make nonsense noises might stop as he gets older. Children with autism may also withdraw from social situations even though they used to seem comfortable playing with or around other kids, according to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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How To Help Any Autistic Behaviour That Occurs As A Child Becomes A Teenager:
- Take a calm, quiet approach when talking to the young person
- Give them their own space, while ensuring that they dont retreat from family life altogether
- Limit online activities to encourage face-to-face time with people
- Plan activities for weekends and holidays in advance and share those plans with the young person
- Keep to a routine
- When talking to your son or daughter, do so while engaging in a chosen activity, such as walking through the park or driving in the car with them as a front-seat passenger, rather than sitting looking at them
- Use lots of subtle and genuine praise, as children with autism generally have low self-esteem and need more genuine praise then neuro-typical children. But remember that many autistic children dislike being singled-out in front of others and praised
Should I Tell My Friends
To read more of Abbys articles, click here.
As a woman, my friends are often my lifeline. But I learned that sometimes friends arent able to be the support you are hoping they would be. Honestly, I lost some friends in this process. I learned that they werent the kind of supportive women I needed in my life And after the initial sting, I got over it, filling my life with truly supportive people.
As I told friends about my sons diagnosis and what was going on in my life, I found some amazing women in similar situations. And honestly, when you are a special needs mom, finding another special needs mom is like Christmas! They are an instant friend. They are a great resource when you need ideas. Having someone who just gets it can be like breathing again after holding your breath for too long.
When my son was first diagnosed, I didnt have many mom friends who were also special needs moms. But as I have been sharing my experiences, I am finding them everywhere! Many of my friends turned out to be special needs aunts, grandmas, or moms themselves. I cant say its always easy to talk about. There are a lot of people who really misunderstand autism and because of that, there are stigmas around it. But I love being able to help people move beyond their misconceptions.
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Respect Their Processing Style
Childrens reactions to these talks reflect a full range of responses. Some will have many questions and want to understand more. They may want to look up what different words mean and feel like they cant stop talking or thinking about it. Other children will be resistant to talking more about it, and will want some space to process this information in their own quiet way.
The biggest gift you can give to your child is to respect her uniqueness and provide her the space and an opportunity to think and reflect about this information. You may want to enlist the help of mental health professionals to facilitate the healthy processing of some very complicated information. We believe that the understanding and synthesizing of this information is integral to your childs forming of his identity. While it may take time, supporting this process will help empower him for success and self-actualization through hard work, insight, and understanding.
Autism Spectrum News is a quarterly print and online publication dedicated to providing parents, professionals, and individuals on the spectrum with a trusted source of science-based education, vital information and a roadmap to quality resources in the autism community. To view the current issue or the archives, please visit www.mhnews-autism.org.
Problems Processing Physical Sensations
Many individuals with autism have sensory difficulties. They may find specific noises, tastes, smells, or feelings intolerable. Noisy public places can lead to emotional distress, as can uncomfortable clothing or unwanted touches. These issues can be disruptive and stressful, but according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, autism symptoms can improve over time as children with mild autism learn to regulate their own behavior through work with professionals.
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Behaviour Signs Of Autism In Older Children And Teenagers
Repetitive behaviour and interests Older autistic children and teenagers might:
- have unusual interests or obsessions for example, they might collect sticks or memorise football statistics but not really be interested in the game
- have compulsive behaviour for example, they might line things up or need to close all the doors in the house
- have an unusual attachment to objects for example, they might carry toys around, or collect unusual items like chip packets or shoelaces
- be easily upset by change and like to follow routines for example, they might like to sit in the same seat for every meal or have a special order for getting ready in the morning
- repeat body movements or have unusual body movements, like hand-flapping or rocking
- make repetitive noises for example, grunts, throat-clearing or squealing.
Sensory sensitivitiesOlder autistic children and teenagers might:
- be sensitive to sensory experiences for example, they might be easily upset by certain sounds or uncomfortable clothes, or eat only foods with a certain texture
- seek sensory stimulation for example, they might like deep pressure, seek vibrating objects like washing machines, or flutter fingers to the sides of their eyes to watch the light flicker
- be less responsive to pain than other children.
He Never Tells Me He Loves Me
Many individuals on the spectrum do not approach romance in a neurotypical way. If he has told you at one point that he loves you he may not feel the need to articulate this again unless his feeling have changed. For partners who are not on the spectrum, they often view verbal and romantic reassurance as a necessity in a relationship, while individuals on the spectrum view excessive validation as unnecessary since they believe that love should be measured in actions rather than words .