Search
Close this search box.
Assessment Support for Young People

How will an autism assessment help me?

An autism assessment can be like a special key to understanding yourself better. Think of it as a detailed map that highlights the unique and amazing ways your brain functions.

By undergoing this assessment, you’ll uncover both your incredible strengths and the areas where you might benefit from some extra guidance or resources.

Moreover, it can connect you with the right tools, strategies, and individuals who truly understand and support you.

This journey is all about recognising and celebrating your individuality, ensuring you’re equipped to navigate the world in the best way possible for you.

Check out the video ‘Amazing Things Happen’ for an uplifting introduction to autism.

Amelines, A. (2017, July 18). Amazing Things Happen. National Autistic Society. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbwRrVw-CRo

What will I have to do in the assessment?

Your job is to just be yourself – even though it’s called an assessment, you aren’t being ‘tested’ like at school. You will chat with a specialist about your school and friendships, and complete some tasks that will show how you interact with people and use your imagination.

 

We might do something like…

Imagine you’re meeting someone new, maybe a potential friend at school, just like in a movie scene.

We’ll take on different roles – I’ll play the new person, and you can be yourself.

To start, I’ll introduce myself, and then it’s your turn to tell me your name. We’ll chat, ask questions, and share a bit about ourselves.

This helps us understand how you’re great at navigating conversations and connecting with others, just like a pro. It’s all about honing your social skills in a fun way.

Can my parents come with me?

Yes, parents/carers or someone else you trust are allowed to sit behind you during the assessment, if this would help you to feel comfortable. They won’t be able to help you with any of the questions or tasks, but they can reassure you.

How long will the assessment take?

Your in-person assessment will take around 3 hours, though this will depend on how long the tasks take you to finish. There is no need to rush your assessment, and you will be allowed a short break on the day.

What happens afterwards?

You and your parents/carers will meet with the specialist within 5 days of your assessment. Based on your assessment, the specialist will tell you whether they think you are autistic or not.

In the meeting, you will work together with your parents/carers and the specialist to make a plan that will help you make the most of your unique strengths, and handle things you find more difficult. You will also get the chance to tell them about your goals for the future, so they can have the best chance of helping you.

In the assessment room

    • During the assessment, a parent, guardian or informant (the individual who completed the interview part of the assessment) is allowed to sit behind the young person, if this would help to keep them calm.
    • In total, your child’s in-person assessment will take no longer than 90 minutes, depending on how long the tasks take for them to complete.
    • The interview with parents/guardians will last for approximately 3 hours.
    • You and your child will be allowed to take breaks when needed.

Within 5 working days

    • Within 5 working days of the in-person assessment, you and your child will be informed of the outcome in a meeting with the specialist.
  •  
    • During this meeting, we will work with you to develop a care plan tailored to your child’s needs, taking on board your feedback at every step of the process.
  •  
    • If you disagree with our decision, you can request a second opinion.
  •  
    • Regardless of the outcome, you will be signposted to the most appropriate resources and services that we believe will help your young person thrive.

Post-diagnosis support

    • As well as a care plan, you and your child will have access to our online self-help portal, which includes specialist advice for autistic people on living well, enhancing social outcomes and quality of life, and what to do if things get difficult.
    • 4-6 weeks after we communicate the assessment outcome to you, we will offer a follow-up meeting with your assessment team to catch up on your child’s progress and discuss whether their care plan is helping.
    • If your child is still struggling, the assessment team will collaborate with you to revise their care plan, with further monthly follow-up meetings.
    • See our digital resource hub for autism-friendly services that offer support in a number of domains.

Our assessment service is currently available to children and young people under 18 years of age, who are registered with an NHS GP in the Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale areas. If you are based in one of these locations and your child’s GP suspects that they might be autistic, they will refer your child to us.

If your child isn’t eligible for our service, don’t worry – we will inform their GP of the most appropriate alternative.

There are lots of young people who need an autism assessment at any given time, so waiting lists for services like ours can be anywhere from 3 months to a year long.

Once we have conducted your child’s pre-screening triage, we aim to provide you with an assessment outcome within 7 weeks, and a care plan in the next month.

Our self-help portal has resources to help you and your child to prepare for the assessment, and advice on supporting the health of autistic young people.

See the digital resource hub for links to more specific services, such as counselling, special educational needs for autistic children, and support for carers.

As part of the assessment, you will fill in a written questionnaire and have a face-to-face discussion about your child with an autism specialist. This is to provide the specialist with information about your child’s early years, which they may not remember themselves.

During the second (in-person) part of their assessment, a specialist will observe their behaviours and responses to set tasks, which are based on creative play and self-expression. They are not being ‘tested’ as such, because there is no right or wrong way to complete the tasks.

Regardless of the assessment outcome, you will have continued access to our self-help portal and digital resource hub.

If your child is not autistic, we will send a letter to their GP who will refer them to the appropriate service for further support. We will also signpost to other groups who might be able to help.

If we find that your child is autistic, you will have the opportunity to meet with a specialist and develop a care plan together, tailored to the specific needs of the young person.

How to find us

Venue: BeU North Yorkshire, 14 Northway, Scarborough, YO11 1JL

Parking: There is a nearby pay and display. 

Accessibility: Easy access for all at the main reception. 

Receptionists: Let one of the team know you are here for your appointment.