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Child Autism (ASD) Symptoms, Assessments, and Treatment in London

It can be worrying for parents when your child doesn’t seem to be meeting developmental milestones in the time frame you expected, or if they are struggling in their interactions with other children and family members.

If you are concerned that your child may be showing signs of behaviour or learning difficulties that could be on the autistic spectrum, or if you think they may be experiencing other developmental/mental health issues and would like to request an assessment, Psymplicity Healthcare can help.

Our highly experienced, London-based Child and Adolescent team of psychiatrists and psychologists will provide Gold Standard, clinician lead ASD assessments with diagnosis that will shed light on the issues your child is experiencing, allowing us to determine appropriate therapies and support for the whole family, document their progress, and determine the best treatment pathways for your child’s unique needs.

CHILD ASD ASSESSMENT - APPOINTMENTS NOW AVAILABLE

Contact our team of medical secretaries to discuss our availability and for advice and guidance. We are now accepting new patients and have open availability - there’s no need to wait for an appointment.

What Are The Main Symptoms of Child ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)?

Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because people experience a wide variety of symptoms at differing levels of severity. In general, symptoms fall under these main classifications:

Main Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children

  • Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people
  • Restricted interests and repetitive behaviours
  • Symptoms that hinder the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life
  • Difficulty sleeping, and sleep disorders

Specific Behaviours Associated With Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Communication/interaction

  • Little or inconsistent eye contact
  • Tending not to listen to people
  • Rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities with others
  • Failing to, or being slow to, respond to someone calling their name
  • Difficulty following the back and forth of conversation
  • Often talking at length about a favourite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond
  • Expressions, movements, and gestures that do not match what is being said
  • An unusual tone of voice that may sound sing-song or flat and robot-like
  • Trouble empathising and predicting other people’s reactions to behaviour

Restrictive/repetitive behaviours

  • Repeating certain behaviours, words or phrases
  • A lasting, intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts
  • Passion for small, intricate details, such as for parts of objects
  • Getting upset by slight changes in a routine
  • Being more or less sensitive than other people to sensory input, such as light, noise, clothing, or temperature.

Special Abilities

If your child is exhibiting symptoms of ASD, they may also have strong abilities in the following areas:

  • Attention to detail and information recall
  • Visual and auditory learning
  • Maths, science, music, or art

Should My Child Be Assessed For Autism and ASD?

Autism occurs in all ethnic, racial, and economic groups. It can be a lifelong disorder, but the right treatments and services can significantly improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function.

If your child is showing signs of unusual development or displaying one or more of the behavioural and emotional symptoms listed above, it is strongly recommended that they are evaluated by a private London psychiatrist who specialises in childhood disorders.

The earlier that childhood Autism is diagnosed the better - children will respond to treatment better when they are younger, and you are likely to need diagnosis documentation in order to obtain help from other educational and wellbeing sources.

What Happens During a Child Autism Assessment at Psymplicity Healthcare?

Our proven approach to child autism assessment includes behavioural analysis, a comprehensive information gathering process, and a parent interview.

The assessment is conducted by a highly qualified child and adolescent psychiatrist and a supporting clinician. It takes around four or five hours to complete, usually split over 1-2 sessions.

An initial diagnosis will be provided on the day of assessment, followed by a full and in-depth medical report that will follow in the next three weeks.

The results of your child’s assessment will be fully and thoroughly explained by a specialist child psychiatrist, who will be on hand to answer any questions and carefully explain the recommended treatment route for your child, which may include one or more therapies, medication, and parent/child workshops.

Following the review session, you’ll receive a comprehensive report, which we will send on to your GP with your permission.

The ASD Assessment In Detail: Child Behavioural Review

A key part of your child’s Autism assessment is the behavioural review. During their review, your child will participate in interactive and play-based activities that have been selected by your Psymplicity Healthcare child and adolescent psychiatrist based on their unique symptoms, challenges, and goals.

Your child and adolescent psychiatrist will use formal testing methods according to Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) guidelines, to ascertain or rule out different diagnoses, including developmental, behavioural, emotional, and attention deficit disorders. A supporting clinician will also be present to accurately score your child’s responses.

Information Gathering: Parent Interview and ADI-R Assessment

In order for us to best understand and diagnose your child’s condition, we use the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) protocol to conduct a thorough information gathering process.

This process involves a review of available records, observations, and interviews with you and your child. Sometimes referrals are also made to other multidisciplinary clinicians, such as your child’s physician, speech, occupational, or physical therapist.

Once the necessary information is gathered, results are interpreted in a comprehensive report, which includes diagnoses and recommendations.

Child Autism Treatment Plans Available at Psymplicity Healthcare in London

With the right support, autistic children can enjoy success in home, school, and social settings, and live happy, confident lives.

Treatment for ASD should begin as soon as possible after diagnosis. Early treatment for autism and autistic spectrum disorders is important, as proper care can reduce the difficulties your child faces while helping them to learn new skills and make the most of their strengths.

Because children diagnosed with autism can face a wide range of issues, determined by the severity and specifics of their condition, there is no single “best” treatment for Autism.

However, by working closely with your doctor or health care professional, a Psymplicity Healthcare child and adolescent psychiatrist can accurately recommend the right personalised treatment plan to support and enable your child.

Will My Child Need Autism Medication?

In some cases, successful ASD treatment can be administered without the need for medication. If your child is prescribed autism medication, this will be discussed with you as part of their bespoke treatment plan, and any allergies or existing conditions will be taken into consideration.

Autism medication is often prescribed for children who struggle with ASD symptoms such as:

  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Repetitive behaviour
  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention problems
  • Anxiety and depression

We firmly believe that the solution is never to rely on medication alone, which is why your child’s treatment plan will include a range of therapies, workshops, and coping mechanisms in addition to any necessary medication.

Our team of child and adolescent psychologists and psychiatrists

Psymplicity Healthcare’s established Child and Adolescent Mental health team of Psychiatrists and Psychologists are dedicated to helping your child enjoy a happier, healthier life.

Dr Monica Quadir

Dr Quadir is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who works within the NHS and the private sector. Having gained her Medical degree from Bart’s and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2009, she has gone on to complete her Specialty Training in Child And Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr Fareeha Amber Sadiq

Dr Amber is a Consultant Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist. She uses a compassionate and integrated approach which combines biological, psychological and social perspectives with evidence based care. She works closely with her multidisciplinary colleagues and liaises with other professionals, including school counsellors and paediatricians, whenever possible.

Dr Karen McCarty

Dr Karen McCarty completed her BSc in Psychology, including an additional research year with the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital. She worked as an Assistant Psychologist in West London for one year before attaining a place on the DClin Psy training programme at the University of Hertfordshire in 2003.

Dr Acharya

Dr Acharya is a Consultant Psychiatrist trained in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Intellectual Disability Psychiatry. Having gained her medical degree from The University of Manchester and The University of St Andrews, she has gone on to complete her Specialty Training in Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr Acharya works with a wide range of disorders including Depression, Anxiety, Psychosis and Neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and Autism.

Booking Your Child ASD Assessment At Psymplicity Healthcare in London

Psymplicity Healthcare’s specialist child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists are here to help your child live a healthier, happier, fuller life. By taking the first step towards treatment, you are investing in a brighter future for your child or children.

Contact our team of medical secretaries to discuss our availability and for advice and guidance. We are now accepting new patients and have open availability - there’s no need to wait for an appointment.

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