Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Supporting families and individuals in the local Wollongong area and greater Illawarra

Information on NDIS

Autism Spectrum Disorder

We know that the hardest part about the diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder can be feeling like you don't understand what is happening. Have a read through the information below about Diagnostic Criteria & Assessments. 

Diagnostic Criteria 

There are two sets of diagnostic criteria commonly used to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD. Psychiatrists and Psychologist are qualified to diagnose ASD using the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) as well as the standardised screening and diagnostic tools to assess ASD. these tools include (but not limited to):

  • Autism Behaviour Checklist (ABC)

  • Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC)

  • Childhood Autism Rating Scales, Second Edition (CARS-2)

  • Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)

  • Social and Communication Surveillance (SACS)

  • Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS)

  • Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R) 


Medical Assessments 

At Blue Sky Health we always encourage our clients to also request a full physical examination and history, and a hearing test from their General Practitioner (GP), Psychiatrist or Paediatrician. Medical assessments help to examine signs of other conditions that might explain the individual’s symptoms and identify any other medical problems that might need treatment.

Developmental, Cognitive and Language Assessments 

At Blue Sky Health we also encourage our clients to complete a developmental assessment (under the age of four) or a cognitive assessment (over the age of four). These assessments can help us to better understand the strengths and difficulties caused by development delays or intellectual disability rather than autism. Most individuals (especially children) will also be required to complete a communication and language assessment by a registered Speech Pathologist.


As per the Evidence-based/evidence-informed good practice for supports provided to preschool children, their families, and carers, there are established recommendations for diagnosis and assessment of individuals with autism. “All diagnosis and assessment guidelines require children to be assessed by a paediatrician or a child and adolescent psychiatrist, a psychologist and a speech pathologist and for a consensus diagnosis to have been reached in accordance with existing classification systems, which for children today will be the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) or the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). All recommend that consideration be given to detailed profiling of strengths and difficulties, beyond what may be needed for making a diagnosis, to enable tailoring of intervention and management strategies. Under DSM-5, the severity of ASD symptoms and level of functioning should be specified along with the presence of co-morbid conditions. Information about the child and family from the diagnosis and assessment process can then be used to guide the selection of autism-specific approaches to intervention, that are in line with current best evidence and parents priorities, that are most likely to be successful”. 

Supporting families and individuals in the local Wollongong area and greater Illawarra

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1300 425 903