|Assessment. Advice & Support for Autism Spectrum Disorder and related issues|
DO YOU OR YOUR FAMILY NEED HELP WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)?
It may be because...
You, your child or a family member have been diagnosed with ASD.
You have had a 'positive' result from a test you have taken online or from a publication.
You, your child or other family member have difficulties that sound like they may be due to ASD.
Firstly, if you do not yet have a proper diagnosis it is worth knowing that accurate diagnosis of ASD is very difficult because there are other behavioural and social development disorders that can be confused with it, for instance: ADHD, Hypersensitivity, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder and so forth.
Medical diagnosis is therefore generally carried out through the NHS using specialised teams. However there is, at present a TWO-YEAR WAITING LIST just for a diagnosis.
There is no 'cure' for ASD as it is not an illness and the NHS offers very little post-diagnostic support.
With or without a proper diagnosis, the only medication you might receive is from your GP to help you to cope with the anxiety and depression that frequently accompanies it. You may also be offered counselling from a private practitioner but nothing more.
Milestones is here to help:
It comes in two main forms:
1) Professional Assessments (it may not be ASD!).
Diagnosis or Professional Assessment?
As it is ruled that only the NHS can give a 'diagnosis' of ASD we cannot give you an official diagnosis, although the NHS diagnosis is carried out by private organisations like ourselves and frequently with less qualified staff and without the benefit of the very latest research on the subject, two major factors which are deemed very important by Milestones.
Why Professional Assessment?
Despite not carrying the title 'diagnosis', our expert Professional Assessment may prevent you from joining a long queue that might lead to nothing or prevent you from receiving the wrong treatment or support or simply help you to understand with what you are dealing. Having said that, our assessment reports have been accepted by schools, employers and public bodies, possibly due to their comprehensive, highly detailed and clearly professional basis.
Why are Milestones Professional Assessments special?
Our Professional Assessments are possibly unique in that they cover a wider range of developmental and behavioural disorders than just ASD. If ASD is not indicated, the report you receive will tell you if there is another disorder present or if you have ASD together with another disorder (which is very common). This will also help you to gain an insight into your difficulties and therefore point you in the direction of what treatment, if any, you should be seeking.
What about assessing women and girls?
There was held for many years an erroneous idea that Autism occurred mostly in males. It was eventually discovered that this mistake was caused by the male bias of the assessment processes. Generally Autism in females presents very differently than it does in males. Women and girls will tend to be quicker at apprehending where they lack in social skills and quicker at learning how to mimic them, usually through simply copying behaviour they see to be socially acceptable. They are also generally conditioned to be more socially passive than males and therefore do not demonstrate so readily any shortcomings they may have in conducting social situations. This outward appearance of ‘normality’ mislead the traditional assessment processes. Milestones had from its beginnings the notion that a disparity in frequency of Autism between males and females did not exist. It was a core belief in Milestones that there was a fault in traditional assessment processes caused by unintentional prejudice. The Milestones Assessment Process, has, therefore, been created to reflect gender neutrality from its inception and we have a great deal of experience conducting accurate and appropriate assessments for both female and male candidates.
What if I already have a diagnosis of ASD?
If you already have a medical diagnosis of ASD then you will not require an Assessement unless you believe that you have other disorders that are, as yet, undiagnosed.
To learn more, visit the Professional Assessments Page.
2) The Advice and Support Service.
This Service is there to help you live as 'normally' as possible whatever the reasons for your difficulties.
We provide expert information and counselling to help you cope with the day-to-day problems and traumas that you are experiencing whether as a patient or a family and whatever the cause - whether it is ASD or some other disorder.
It is not necessary (but, we must admit, very helpful) to have had a Pre-diagnostic Assessment or an NHS Diagnosis before using these Services.
To learn more, visit the Advice and Support Service Page.
Milestones has something special that makes our service unique and especially able to help you.
The Milestones Unique Speciality
Milestones is run by Francis Valentine Boyle.
Francis was born with Asperger's Syndrome a diagnostic subtype of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
For more information please read the About Autism Spectrum Disorder Page.
Francis is a Fellow and former Director of the National Association of Counsellors, Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists. He had been a psychotherapist for over 40 years specialising in working with children and young people who had been abused or who had developmental or behavioural difficulties or who were vulnerable in other ways before joining Milestones. His patients suffered with every disorder imaginable including ASD. When it was commonly regarded as being very difficult to work with young people with ASD, Francis always wondered why he found it very little problem. His late diagnosis of ASD explained a great deal for him, not just personally but also professionally!
Therefore, although most of the practitioners who work with ASD do not have it themselves and so must work 'objectively', Francis has a unique 'subjective' insight into ASD and what it means in terms of day-to-day living.
More than that, he acts as a role model to both those who have ASD and their families; a living example of the fact that even if you have ASD you can live, like so many others (and some more famous than he) a successful and fulfilled life. Having Autistic Spectrum Disorder is not a 'life sentence'.
Footnote: Francis is a member of the Society of Friends, a Quaker, and therefore Milestones is run according to traditional Quaker principles of integrity, non-discrimination and service before profit.
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© Francis Valentine Boyle 2014