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Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Adults

Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Adults

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results from unique differences in the development of an individual’s brain, which affects how they behave and interact with the world around them. ASD encompasses a broad spectrum, meaning that it may present differently in individuals, with the same core deficits in social communication difficulties and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors being impacted. 

The Signs of ASD in Adults


Symptoms of ASD are commonly expected to occur in childhood; however, research has suggested that a significant number of individuals receive an ASD diagnosis in adulthood.


The behaviors associated with ASD fall into two broad areas:

  • Deficits in social communication and social interactions

  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities


Some common signs and symptoms of ASD are:

  • lack of social or emotional exchanges

  • lack of non-verbal communication and use of gestures

  • difficulty developing and maintaining relationships appropriate to one’s age, such as peer play and/or lack of friends

  • stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech

  • delayed expressive and receptive language skills

  • poorly modulated eye contact

  • insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior

  • hyper or hypo-reactivity to sensory input, such as sound, pain, or textures

  • restricted or fixated interests


Referral process

Manor Clinic provides ASD assessment services for individuals of all ages, such as children, adolescents, and adults. Individuals may self-refer themselves for an assessment or request that a referral come from someone who is part of their mental health care. Examples of mental health professionals who may put in referrals are family physicians, psychiatrists, or psychologists. Although a referral from someone who is part of one’s mental health care is not necessary to be assessed, it allows our clinic to offer a multidisciplinary approach and to share the results to provide continuity of care with the findings and recommendations from the assessment.


How is ASD diagnosed?

 There is no simple assessment or medical examination that may be used to diagnose individuals with ASD. ASD is clinically diagnosed based on information gathered from a comprehensive psychological interview and evaluation, physical examination (if needed), standardized testing, and the observation of specific behavioral characteristics relating to ASD.


Manor Clinic provides comprehensive ASD assessments using the current standardized gold standard assessment tools for diagnosing this developmental disorder, such as the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) or the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2). The ASD assessments are done by our experienced ASD consultants. The nature and type of the assessment and number of interviews/appointments may vary as ASD is a spectrum condition, and individuals may have different needs and presentations. The ASD assessment may happen over one or two sessions. Each appointment session may take up to 120 minutes.

After the assessment, the results, findings, and recommendations from the assessment will be discussed with you. A written copy of the report will be provided to you and the referrer (if applicable).


If the results and findings of the assessment indicate that you meet the criteria for ASD, you will be provided with:

·        Information about what ASD is and what it might mean for you

·        Information about support that may be available to you


If the results and findings of the assessment indicate that you do not meet the criteria for ASD, they will explain how they reached this decision. The ASD consultant may provide information about other possible mental health conditions that your challenges may align more congruently with and will provide you with the information on where you can get the necessary support. 


What happens if I do not agree with the outcome of the assessment?

 Diagnosing ASD in adults is a complex process. The assessments are conducted as objectively as possible by using standardized testing, such as the ADOS-2 and ADI-R, by gathering information about your presentation and from various sources, including family members, as appropriate, and by conducting a comprehensive assessment from an experienced ASD consultant. There are various mental health challenges that may affect an individual's social interaction and communication that are not solely related to a diagnosis of ASD.


The team at Manor Clinic can provide you with contact details of the services/professionals who would be able to provide a second opinion if you are interested in one.


Supports and treatments for individuals with ASD

 While there is no cure for ASD, there are a wide variety of interventions, treatments, and therapies that have shown success in reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life for individuals who live with this disorder, as well as their families. The ASD consultant will provide a treatment plan depending on the individual’s needs, given the spectrum of the disorder.


Typically, ASD interventions address one or more core areas of functioning:

  • Social skills

  • Communication skills

  • Cognitive skills

  • Academic skills

  • Behavioral skills

Interventions to address comorbid mental health problems (like anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavioral problems, trauma-related symptoms etc.):

  • Adults with ASD might benefit from some of the same treatment that children do, but there are also support networks for adults that can help, such as social learning programs and daily skills programs. Interventions to address comorbid mental health problems (like anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma-related symptoms, etc.) with the help of psychological therapies like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Social Skills Training, Anger Management training and Emotional Regulation Skills training which are things that can be offered after the assessment.

  • Pharmacological interventions for co-existing mental disorders: The ASD consultant can connect you with our in-house consulting psychiatrist, who has experience in supporting individuals with ASD as well as co-existing mental disorders. The psychiatrist can make recommendations for your general practitioner/family physician regarding medications when required.


If you want to book an assesment

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