Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Brisbane Centre for Psychology provides ASD assessments for adults:
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals across their lifespan. While there are common features of ASD that present themselves in both children and adults, there can be differences in how symptoms manifest. Since ASD is often diagnosed in childhood, symptoms in adults tend to be overlooked or misinterpreted.
Some common features of ASD in adulthood are as follows: difficulties in social interactions and communication, including understanding social cues, body language and nonverbal communication; sensory sensitivity, which could manifest as hyper- or hypo-sensitive to stimuli such as noise, light or touch; development of intense interests or passions in specific topics or activities; difficulties with communication and language, including understanding sarcasm or irony, or reliance on alternative forms of communication; difficulties with time management, organisation, flexible thinking and transitioning between tasks; difficulties with employment and independent living.
ASD in adulthood is often associated with an increased risk of comorbid mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Adults with ASD may require additional support and interventions to address the co-occurring conditions and promote mental well-being. ASD Assessments are vital in ensuring that you are afforded the best possible support.
The process of the ASD assessment involves several components. It will likely begin with a clinical interview, discussing information regarding developmental milestones, social interactions, communication skills and behavioural patterns. If applicable, family members or members of the individual’s immediate circle may be involved. During this time, behavioural observations will also be made to enable assessment of social interaction, communication skills, repetitive behaviours, and sensory sensitivities. Standardised developmental and cognitive testing that are specifically deigned to diagnose ASD in adults will be used.
It’s important to note that Autism is a spectrum disorder, and everyone’s experience is entirely unique. The feedback session will provide an overview of the information gathered throughout the assessment process in a digestible manner. The psychologist will discuss strategies, and offer support and interventions tailored to the specific needs of the individual. Referrals to relevant healthcare professionals will be suggested where appropriate.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Assessments
At Brisbane Centre for Psychology here in North Brisbane we also offer ADHD assessments for adults:
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. While similarities exist between ADHD in children and adults, there are notable differences in how characteristics manifest themselves. At Brisbane Centre for Psychology, we have experienced psychologists who conduct adult ADHD assessments in a neuroaffirmative manner, allowing for the utmost support throughout the process. An assessment is vital to diagnose ADHD in adults.
Some signs that could elicit an adult ADHD assessment include: struggling to maintain focus or sustaining attention, the individual might have difficulty organising and prioritising tasks, frequently lose things or misplace items, or have trouble following through with commitments; impulsivity in decision-making, interrupting others during conversations, or engaging in impulsive behaviours; restlessness or hyperactivity; time management and organisation difficulties, like having trouble estimating the time required for a task; and forgetfulness.
Individuals with ADHD may experience difficulty with emotional regulation, leading to mood swings, irritability or impatience. They may also find themselves having difficulty with active listening, maintaining focus during conversations, or remembering important details. Social situations can often be overwhelming, and they may feel a sense of social isolation or rejection. Individuals may be prone to experiencing other mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, particularly due to the challenges they face in various areas of life, with work, relationships or self-esteem.
An adult ADHD assessment involves multiple steps including: an initial interview, discussing symptoms, family history of ADHD or other disorders, and the impact of symptoms on your daily life; standardised psychological testing is used to assess cognitive abilities, executive functioning skills, and emotional wellbeing; accumulation of collateral information from family members, close friends, or other healthcare professionals; and alignment with diagnostic criteria to assess the overall range of severity, and determine whether the individual’s diagnosis is predominantly inattentive type, or predominantly hyperactive.
It’s important to note that ADHD is a highly individualised conditioned, and is experienced differently across all individuals. Additionally, individuals with ADHD often possess unquestionable strengths, such as creativity, high energy, or the ability to think outside the box. A comprehensive evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional is essential to obtain an accurate ADHD diagnosis and develop a personalised treatment plan to address the specific needs of the individual. A feedback session is provided at the end of the assessment process to discuss all findings in a digestible manner. At this time, a personalised treatment plan will be developed, and further support and recommendations will be provided to assist in managing ADHD throughout adulthood.