Autism Assessments

woman and boy autism assessments

Solas Psychology is now offering multidisciplinary autism assessments in Galway and across Ireland. We are able to offer assessments in-person in Galway and also online. We recognise the dearth of public service provision in Galway and in the greater West of Ireland region and aim to provide a reliable and ethical assessment service for children, young people and adults. 

Our autism assessments are very in-depth and consist of gold standard assessment tools such as the ADI-R and ADOS-2. Should further assessment be required such as a preschool/school visit, we also provide these for an additional fee. We have a range of assessment tools at our disposal to ensure that the assessment is as thorough and comprehensive as possible. Our assessments are approved by the HSE and the Department of Education. 

We operate from a neurodiverse framework which uses identity first language (i.e., autistic person instead of person with autism), out of respect for our autistic friends and colleagues.  Please get in contact with us by email to find out more about our assessment process. Our assessors are all highly experienced clinical professionals who have experience of working within HSE systems and also within the private sector.

What does an autism assessment involve? 

Step 1 

After filling out the contact form on our website, a member of our team will be in touch with you to gather additional information and to add your/your child's name to our waitlist. We will then contact you again once we have an appointment which we can offer you. You will be sent some questionnaires/forms to complete in advance of your first appointment.

Step 2 

ADI-R appointment 

The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is one of the most widely used diagnostic algorithms in determining whether or not an individual is autistic. Unlike the ADOS-2, however, the ADI-R does not directly involve the individual—instead, it is an interview conducted by a trained clinician with the individual's parent(s)/caregiver(s). The ADI-R focuses on gaining a thorough developmental history of the individual, with many questions specifically focusing on the 4-5 year range. The interview typically takes between 120 and 150 minutes and is conducted online, by phone or in person in the clinic setting, depending on the parent/caregiver's preference and also clinician availability. You will be sent information on how best to prepare for the interview ahead of time.  Although it can be difficult to go through an ADI-R interview, it can also be useful for parents, even if it doesn’t result in an ASD diagnosis. The nature of the questions themselves can help you become more objective about evaluating your child’s behaviours, allowing you to recognise any developmental issues that might be present so you can get the early intervention your child may need.

Please note, in some cases the ADOS-2 assessment will take place before the ADI-R. This is dependent on client and clinician availability. This does not negatively impact the assessment process.

Step 3

ADOS-2 appointment 

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition (ADOS-2) is an activity-based assessment administered by trained clinicians to evaluate communication skills, social interaction, and imaginative use of materials in individuals who are suspected to have autism. The ADOS-2 is currently considered the 'gold standard' in the assessment of autism. It is typically administered in person but can also be administered online with adolescents. It takes about 40 - 60 minutes to complete (depending on the age of the individual) and involves structured play tasks with a range of toys and activities. When toddlers or young children are being assessed, the parent may be asked to be present in the room for the entire administration. A parent’s primary role is to simply observe, although the clinician may ask the parent to interact with the child in specific ways at certain points during the assessment. For adolescents and adults , the ADOS-2 is typically administered with only the client and clinician in the room. All sessions are video-recorded and the videos are reviewed by a second clinician involved in the MDT autism assessment process.

Step 4

The multidisciplinary team meets to analyse the evidence and to determine if further assessment is required. If further assessment (such as a preschool visit, cognitive, or speech and language assessment) is required, then the parent/caregiver will be contacted and the rationale explained to them as to why further assessment is required. If no further assessment is required, then a feedback session will be scheduled with the parent/caregiver and the outcome of the session will be explained to them. A full report will then be issued within 8-12 weeks after the first appointment date. Regardless of outcome, this report will contain detailed recommendations for your child as to what we feel are the most appropriate next steps for you and your child. 

Still have questions?

Why not visit our Frequently Asked Questions here.

Our Clinic Director, Dr. Rachel Gately recently created an informative webinar for parents to answer many of the commonly asked questions regarding the autism diagnostic process in Ireland. This webinar was created in collaboration with My Psychology Ireland, and can be accessed through this link to the My Psychology Website: https://www.mypsychologyireland.com/product-page/an-introduction-the-autism-process-in-children-adolescents

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