|About the Service
If you already have a medical diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) then you will require no extra assessment before making use of our Advice and Support Service, unless you believe that you may have some other disorders as yet undiagnosed.
However, amongst those with no diagnosis, it has become common practice to take various 'tests' (whether online or in a publication) for such disorders as Asperger's Syndrome (AS). But ASD is complicated. It is why these tests are dubious in their accuracy to say the least. You will need a thorough, expert assessment to truly determine if ASD is indicated.
Milestones is able to give you a thorough, expert assessment.
ASD cannot be identified by a simple unique series of symptoms or states of mind. It is not an illness. Also many of the most common 'symptoms' are shared with other disorders, for instance certain forms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Hypersensitivity, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and such like. It is easy for those without any great experience to confuse ASD with any one of a number of more common disorders. Indeed, the assessment is further complicated by the fact that Autistics frequently suffer from one or other of these disorders alongside their Autism.
What the assessor is looking for is, rather, a set of indicators, a wealth of factors that when put together can lead to no other conclusion than that the person being assessed truly has ASD. It requires a detailed knowledge and understanding of ASD such as Milestones is able to offer.
Milestones chooses to call its analysis of the attitudes and behaviour of an individual, a 'professional opinion' as full medical diagnosis must come from the NHS. However, it has a very special attritubute in that Francis, who carries out the assessments, not only spent over 40 years working as a psychotherapist with children and young people with every disorder imaginable, he was himself born with Asperger's Syndrome (a form of ASD) and his insight is therefore not only unique but almost infallible! Rest assured our assessment, although it is legally not allowed to be a diagnosis, will give you an accurate indication as to whether it is ASD with which you are dealing and/or some other disorder or state of mind and, where applicable if there is a diagnostic subset, e.g. Asperger's Syndrome, present.
The Milestones Assessment Process
To carry out the assessment Francis will visit the home of the person being assessed, it's more relaxed that way, but if that is not convenient the assessment will be conducted here which is also comfortable and relaxed. He will ask a series of questions and, more importantly, talk to the person and the members of their family (if appropriate). However, Francis will not be writing down the answers to the questions, although he may scribble a note ot two for his own benefit. Instead he will be putting together a picture of that person's life and their responses and attitudes. It is carried out in the very friendly, informal and even conversational manner that only 40 years of experience brings.
He will then go away and piece together all that he has learned. You may get an e-mail or two asking for clarification on something or extra information - please respond quickly if he does! When he is satisfied that he has come to the right conclusion, then he will write his report on the assessment.
The report will contain a short introduction, followed by what Francis has learned from the conversation and any other useful supportiing information, followed by his conclusions based upon these and finally a section on suggested future strategies you may employ to live successfully with whatever the assessment reveals.
Just as a reminder, because it has not been commissioned by the NHS, it is not formally a diagnosis but a 'professional opinion'. Nevertheless it covers the ground of the NHS tests and a great deal more.
Once the report is written, Francis will e-mail (or post if you prefer) to you a draft copy so that you can add anything you think has been missed, or correct anything that is wrong, or been misunderstood, or make any other comment that you would like. Once the agreed report is finalised, a signed and bound copy will be posted to you.
At this stage you can discuss with us whether you would like to make use of the Milestones Advice and Support Service , either straight away or in the future (you can learn more about that by clicking HERE) and/or some other form of treatment or intervention. There will be no pressure to take up the Milestones Service. We are an ethical organisation and only want the best for our clients.