Where can an Autism assessment be done?
Autism assessments can be done by a government funded service for free. Or you may elect to have the assessment done privately. There is Medicare funding to enable you to use private specialists for an assessment. Please go to the Medicare link for more information.
Medicare information on the Federal Government Helping Children with Autism Initiative
Bendigo CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
A government-funded service.
Bendigo CAMHS has a triage service that will take your calls. Then referrals are made to the Coordinator of the Autism Disorder Assessment Service as appropriate. A team of specialists will then assess if your child has an ASD. This service is for both pre-school and school-age children, up to 18 years of age. The Autism Disorder Assessment Service (ADAS) is a regional service and is free of charge.
Contact: Bendigo CAHMS – Ph: 1300 363 788.
What happens at a child assessment?
Before the Assessment
The Coordinator of the Autism Diagnostic Assessment Service will contact you by phone for a “screening interview” – this enables the Coordinator to determine what assessments need to be completed. You will require: A recent cognitive or intellectual assessment administered by a psychologist. Then they may consult:
- A speech and language assessment conducted by a speech pathologist.
- Early intervention therapists
- Student service personnel who visit schools
- Private practitioners
The Autism Assessment
Now your child is ready for an Autism-specific assessment. If Bendigo CAMHS are doing the assessment, it will be held at the Autism Assessment Centre. This centre is located at 8 Wallace Avenue, Flora Hill. The assessment involves a specific session with your child and an extensive interview with the parents/caregivers. In keeping with what is considered best practice for diagnosing autism disorders, the Autism assessment is conducted by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of:
- a speech pathologist
- a psychologist
- a paediatrician.
This team will review various checklists and rating scales to make a diagnosis.
After the Assessment
Following the assessment parents receive the team’s diagnosis in the form of a report. Then parents can consult further with the team Coordinator to develop an understanding of the consequences of their child’s diagnosis. Several months after you receive a diagnosis, there is generally a further session offered to the parents. This provides the opportunity for parents to:
- have further queries addressed
- learn more about Autism
- discuss strategies for managing behaviours
The Coordinator can also visit your child’s school and meet with teachers to provide support and advice about Autism.
Time for a Future – Centre for Child Development
This multi-disciplinary team provides a range of professional services to both children and adolescents with special needs and their families. Services include:
- assessment and diagnosis
- evidence based interventions
- individual child and family therapy
- autism parent education and skills training programs
- cognitive behaviour therapy
56 High St, Woodend
Ph: 03 5427 4052
Dr Tristan Pawsey is a Developmental Behavioural Paediatrician. Dr Pawsey is able to provide individual consultations, multidisciplinary assessments, Autism assessments, genetic testing and shared care.
Cobaw Community Health Services Ph: 03 5421 1666
Melbourne Children’s Clinic
The ASD Clinic
Dr Richard Eisenmayer
Suite 2, 830 High Street
Kew East, Victoria, Australia 3012
Telephone (03) 8851 3600
Fax (03) 9857 0975
Adult and Specialist Assessment Clinics
There are currently no publicly funded adult assessment clinics in Victoria. For adults seeking an assessment, the best option is to consult a psychologist and/or psychiatrist with experienced in the assessment and diagnosis for autism. They will ask a lot of questions about your childhood, experiences at school and as an adult, and may do some psychological or psychiatric testing. This information will be used to help make a diagnosis. A speech pathologist could also be consulted to assess the individual’s social communication skills.
The following document has a list of Assessments Practitioners for Autism in Victoria