Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnostic Assessment

Autism is a condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, interacts with others, and experiences their environment. ASD impacts individual’s communication and social abilities and presents with repetitive style behaviours. It is a lifelong condition impacting typical development over the lifespan. Every person with Autism is different to every other, this is why Autism is described as a ‘spectrum’.

What to do if you’re concerned your child might have Autism?

The best thing you can do is visit your GP or paediatrician to discuss your concerns. Each child develops at their own pace and may need some support in reaching some developmental milestones. Emerald Psychology Practice requires a paediatrician referral to undertake ASD assessment.

What to expect during an Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment?

At Emerald Psychology Practice:

  • A referral from a paediatrician will be required.
  • An intake questionnaire will be provided to get to know your child before the appointment.
  • You will attend 3 appointments: 
  • (1) An appointment with parents to undertake an interview to get to know your child and formal assessments, including the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, the Social Responsiveness Scale (can be completed by parent and teacher) will be provided to complete. Other questionnaires may be provided to complete at this appointment. Please allow approximately 2 hours.
  • (2) An appointment with the child to complete an interactive play-based assessment the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale. This appointment will include age appropriate play and interactive based activities with the child. Please allow 1.5-2 hours.
  • (3) A follow up appointment to provide feedback and diagnosis. This will include a formal report. At this appointment you can discuss with the psychologist options for treatment and intervention.

Assessment Process

1. Pediatric Referral

When: Pre-session

2. Intake Questionnaire

When: Pre-session
Psychologist Administration time: 30min

3. Consent, Referral, Developmental History Session (ADIR)

When: 1st Session
Time needed with Psychologist: 2hrs
Psychologist Administration time: 1hr

4. Assessment Pack

When: 1st Session
Psychologist Administration time: 1hr


When: 2nd Session
Time needed with Psychologist: 1.5-2hrs
Psychologist Administration Time: 30min

6. Report

Psychologist Administration Time: 7hrs

7. Peer Consultation

Peer Consultation Time: 1hr

8. Feedback Session

When: 3rd Session
Time needed with Psychologist: 1hr

Total Costs

3 sessions
5 hours with Psychologist
11 hours of Psychologist Administration Time

FEE $1800 – $2100

Further Info

It is also recommended to engage with a speech pathologist to support the assessment of communication in exploring ASD. Emerald Psychology Practice can support this process.

Funding options to support an assessment for diagnosis of ASD?
Funding for ASD diagnosis can be limited. Medicare may provide a rebate for up to 4 appointments (including other health professionals) associated to the cost of ASD assessment if you child is aged under 13 years old.

Funding options to support an individual with ASD?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS is a new way for children and their families from 0-65 to access supports. It’s the biggest social reform since Medicare and incorporates all the different funding streams into one system. The scheme puts the goals of your child/family at the centre of supports and provides you with a choice over who delivers the services you want and what these could look like in order to achieve the outcomes you want.

Where to get more information on ASD? 

Cognitive Assessments for Children & Adolescents

What is a cognitive assessment?

An educational (or cognitive) assessment uncovers strengths and challenges in a child’s intellectual profile, learning performance, behavioural challenges and social emotional functioning.

Our assessment process is tailored towards the individual needs of each unique child we meet by including the following steps;

  1. An initial interview with parent to gather some history about your child and their development (approximately 1 hour).

  2. An adaptive behaviour report – teacher or parent interview form using the Vineland 3 (if required).

  3. Administration of the cognitive assessment  (approximately 90 minutes).

  4. A detailed assessment report of findings with tailored behavioural and educational

    recommendations for your child (approximately 6-7 hours).

  5. A parent feedback session to discuss your child’s assessment and answer any questions

    you may have (approximately 1 hour).

The Cognitive Assessments offered at Emerald Psychology Practice are WPPSI-IV and the WISC-V

The benefits of a Cognitive Assessment?

Families may seek an assessment of their child for a variety of reasons including;


  • To gain a better understanding of a child or adolescent’s general cognitive ability.

  • Help make an informed decision about a child’s learning needs. An assessment can inform

    an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and assist with decisions about whether the child may benefit from specialised programs (e.g., learning support, allied health and disability services).

  • Inform a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan.

  • Clarification around reasons for lower-than-expected school performance.

  • Identification of suspected learning disorders including dyslexia (difficulties with reading and

    spelling), dysgraphia (difficulties with writing), or dyscalculia (difficulties with mathematical


  • Evaluation of intellectual ability and achievement levels for potential inclusion in gifted and

    talented enrichment, extension or acceleration programmes.

  • Reviewing cognitive functioning and current academic performance for consideration for

    funding within schools and NDIS.


  • Identification of suspected disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Examination of challenging behaviours such as attention and concentration problems or

    hyperactivity and impulsivity issues.

  • Insight into how executive functioning difficulties impact behavioural and emotional control.


  • Investigation of delays in achieving early childhood milestones.

  • Identification of intellectual disability.

  • Analysis of cognitive development social emotional interactions communication skills and

    self-care abilities related to school readiness.

FEE: $1800 – $2100

Formal Behavioural Assessments

What are behavioural conditions?

Behavioural disorders include problems such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These can be formally assessed using psychological behavioural assessments. This involves a parent interview of approximately one hour. The assessment is then scored, the scores compared to diagnostic criteria from the DSM-5 and a formal report with assessment results and recommendations is prepared.

One type of formal behavioural assessment used at Emerald Psychology Practice is the Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklists (ASEBA; CBCL). These parent and teacher rated assessments are for children aged from eighteen months to eighteen years.

Another type of formal behavioural assessment available with our team is the Conners-3 ADHD Scales, measuring the probability a child has ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder. This assessment is for children from six to eighteen years of age.

FEE: $1600 – $2000

Adaptive Skills Assessment

An adaptive skills assessment compares a child’s skills in the areas of communication, social interaction, motor skills and self-care skills to the level of skill expected for their age. The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether a child is showing age-appropriate development in skills needed for everyday life.

The adaptive skills assessment available at Emerald Psychology Practice utilises the Vineland Scales of Adaptive Behaviour- Second Edition (Vineland-II), Teacher Edition. This assessment is completed by the child’s teacher at child care, kindergarten or school. A questionnaire is completed and scored, and a formal report with assessment results and recommendations is prepared.

If a child has never been in a formal learning program outside the home, a Vineland Scales of Adaptive Behaviour, Second Edition (Vineland-III) Parent Report Form will be administered instead.

FEE: $1100 – $1400