Specialist Assessments For Children

The Rainbow Therapy Practice offers assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that can be used alongside reports from other professionals to
inform a diagnosis. Assessments are always carried out as part of a multi -disciplinary team.

A specialist assessment will ensure that your child is able to access the appropriate level of support
at school and aims to help parents further understand their children’s strengths and needs.

Parents wishing to access a diagnostic assessment are requested to first fill in screen questionnaires
that we provide and can be completed electronically.

ASD Assessments

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects social interaction,
communication, interests and behaviour. Symptoms of ASD are often apparent early in a child’s life.
Symptoms exist on a continuum, with milder idiosyncrasies existing alongside far more impairing
presentations of the condition.

A standardised assessment enables us to determine whether a child meets criteria for ASD or a
social communication disorder. If appropriate, the level of severity can be established with precision.
An assessment can offer an explanation for the difficulties a child may be experiencing, providing
information to help plan the most appropriate care, education and support longer term.
The assessment process involves substantial information being collated from parents and, with
permission, the child’s school before the appointment. The evaluation itself lasts two hours.
Internationally regarded measures form the basis of the assessment. Parents give a detailed history
and description of their child’s difficulties and behaviours which is documented onto a computer
using the 3di programme. At the same time, the child is given semi-structured assessment of
communication, social interaction, and play using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule
(ADOS 2).

Through discussion with parents, we may suggest additional assessment from speech and language
therapy and occupational therapy colleagues. The results are integrated together with school
information and then discussed with parents. Recommendations for parenting, education and
longer- term support are always given. We pride ourselves on the expedient delivery of reports (2
weeks after the assessment).

Further reading about ASD

1. NICE Guidelines for Autism: www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/QS51
2. National Autistic Society: www.autism.org.uk

ADHD Assessments for Children & Adolescents

The Rainbow Therapy Practice also provides assessments for ADHD and uses NICE (National Institute
for Health and Clinical Excellence) recommended assessments to support diagnoses (if applicable).
It is now recognised that there are three main symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
which are:

  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity.

Only one of the above symptoms can merit a diagnosis if severe enough to affect several areas of
your child or teen’s life, such as learning and socialising.

ADHD Assessment – what does it look like?

Diagnosis of ADHD involves a thorough assessment. The National Institute for Health and Care
Excellence (NICE) advises that a team of healthcare professionals are involved, working together to
evaluate your child’s medical, developmental, and psychological history, and his or her current
behaviours and symptoms.This typically includes a parent interview, having teachers fill out reports, then interviewing, observing, and testing your child.

Part of your child’s assessment can also involve psychometric assessment for your child to capture
the level of difficulty they experience with aspects of their attention.

Recommended treatments for a child with ADHD

Following the assessment process, the team will create a treatment plan which may include therapy
sessions, extra help at school and even recommendations regarding medications that may be
helpful.

The benefits of an ADHD assessment for your child and family

A child with attention deficit issues affects your whole family. An assessment can identify or rule out
ADHD, as well as spot any other issues like learning difficulties or developmental disorders.

The benefits of an assessment include:

  • understanding your child and his or her behaviour
  • recognising and building on your child’s strengths
  • optimising your home environment to ease symptoms
  • learning parenting strategies that help you cope
  • helping your child with social skills, self-control, and problem-solving
  • accessing support and services to make things easier for your family.

Further reading about ADHD in children

1. NICE Guidelines for ADHD
2. www.add-vance.org