What is ASD?
Data shows the prevalence of ASD is increasing in Australia.
In 2012, an estimated 115,400 Australians (0.5 percent) had ASD, an increase of 79 percent on the 64,400 people estimated to have the condition in 2009 (ABS, 2012).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey showed that ASD was four times more likely to occur in males than females, with prevalence rates of 0.8 percent and 0.2 percent respectively. Prevalence rates increase from birth, peaking between 5 and 9 years old and dropping off as age increases (ABS, 2012).
Symptoms of ASD
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) the symptoms of ASD may manifest with some of the following behaviours:
Difficulties with Social Communication and Interaction
- Difficulties with back and forth conversation;
- Little expression of emotions, interests or sharing;
- Failure to initiate or respond to social interactions;
- Difficulties in nonverbal communication;
- Lack of eye contact or facial expressions;
- Difficulties in understanding and using gestures;
- Difficulties adjusting behaviour to suit social situations;
- Difficulties making friends.
Restricted and/or Repetitive Patterns of Behaviour
- Repetitive motor movements;
- Lining up toys;
- Ordering items;
- Insistence on routines;
- Ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behaviour;
- Difficulties with change;
- Rigid thinking patterns;
- High fixation or strong attachments with objects with unusual intensity;
- Unusual interest in sensory items;
- Indifference to pain or temperature;
- Adverse response to sounds or textures.
Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period and cause significant impairment in social or occupational functioning in order for a diagnosis to be made.
Assessment for ASD
Best practice for assessment of ASD includes gathering information about your child’s communication, social skills, interests and behaviours across several settings, including the home and school environments.
An ASD assessment is a comprehensive process which may include a specialised Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) Assessment and/or a cognitive assessment or IQ test.
Fees for an Autism Spectrum Condition Assessment are as follows:
- An initial appointment for gathering information about your child, covering a range of areas to allow a detailed holistic picture of your child ($220);
- ADOS Assessment (1-2 hours, $280/hr includes costs of test and specialist’s time);
- Cognitive Assessment (may not be required) (approximately 1-2 hours, $280/hr);
- Report ($540);
- Feedback session ($180);
- Total fee starting at $1220.
If you would like to find out more about what an ASD assessment is and how it could be beneficial for your child, please call or book online for an initial consultation with me.
Author: Cassandra Gist, BPsych (Hons), MPsych, MAPS.
Brisbane Psychologist Cassandra Gist works with clients aged from two years old right through to adulthood. She has a special interest in working with children and their families around the diagnosis and treatment of issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychologist Cassandra Gist, try
Online Booking – Loganholme or Online Booking – Mt Gravatt .
Alternatively, you can call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129, or Vision Psychology (Mt Gravatt) on (07) 3088 5422.