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Child Psychiatry and Development - The ADHD Centre

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Child Psychiatry and Developmental Assessment

What is a Child Psychiatry and Developmental Assessment?

A Child Psychiatry and Development Assessment is a term used to describe an array of tests that measure a child’s cognitive skills and overall brain functioning.  This assessment should be completed by a specialist Medical Child Psychiatrist who has had training in general child psychiatry as well as developmental disabilities such as Autism and Aspergers.

Since an autism spectrum disorder directly impacts your child’s development, it is very important to monitor their progress closely. For children who have a developmental regression, or who have other complicating medical factor such as a seizure disorder, ongoing neurodevelopmental evaluations are often a crucial part of care. Children as young as 4 or 5 years of age old have a neurodevelopmental assessment.

What you can expect

The Child Psychiatry and Development Assessment is a two-hour process that is carried out by one of our Specialist Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. They will evaluate your child to determine if any medical, developmental, behavioural, or neurological factors are impacting his or her capacity to function normally. This assessment will also look at at all neurodevelopmental conditions, psychiatric symptoms, and comorbidities. This service will  focus on providing a better understanding of children who are struggling with conditions such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (Formerly Asperger’s, Autistic Disorder, & Rett’s)
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
  • Autism
  • Tourette’s Disorder
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Conditions

The assessment can be carried out in the following areas; learning potential, cognition, language development, speech. Including social use of language, major and fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills and medical examination. The clinician will all screen for common child psychiatry symptoms such as signs and symptoms of depression, other mood disorders, and issues with anxiety or low self-esteem.

The Child Psychiatry and Development Assessment service is focused on providing a holistic view of the child in the context of their developmental profile.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Assessment

This is a comprehensive diagnostic assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in adults and children. The assessment will be carried out by one of our Specialist Developmental Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) assessment consists of:

2-hour Child Psychiatry and Developmental Assessment.
2-hour Specific Diagnostic Assessment for ASD.

The subsequent two-hour specific ASD diagnostic assessment will be based on using the latest version of The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is a tool for diagnosing and assessing autism.The ADOS consists of a series of structured and semi-structured tasks and generally takes from half an hour to an hour to administer. During this time the doctor will provide a series of opportunities for the child, adolescent, or adult to show communication and social behaviours applicable to the diagnosis of autism. The ADOS consists of four modules, each of which is appropriate for children and adults of different developmental and language levels, ranging from nonverbal to verbally-fluent.


Module 1: Is for children who use little or no phrase speech

  • Bubble play
  • Free play
  • Anticipation of a routine with objects
  • Responsive social smile
  • Response to joint attention
  • Birthday party
  • Snack

Module 2: for those that do use phrase speech but who are not verbally fluent.

  • Make-believe play
  • Joint interactive play
  • Conversation
  • Demonstration task
  • Free play
  • Looking at a book
  • Description of picture
  • Birthday party
  • Snack
  • Anticipation of a routine with objects
  • Bubble play
  • Response to joint attention

Module 3: for verbally fluent children

  • Make-believe play
  • Construction task
  • Demonstration task
  • Description of a picture
  • Emotions
  • Cartoons
  • Telling a story from a book
  • Reporting a non-routine event/conversation
  • Social difficulties/annoyance
  • Break
  • Friends/loneliness/marriage
  • Creating a story

Module 4: for fluent adults

  • Telling a story from a book
  • Description of a picture
  • Construction task
  • Cartoons
  • Creating a story
  • Social difficulties/annoyance
  • Break
  • Current work/school
  • Emotions
  • Daily living
  • Loneliness
  • Friends/marriage
  • Plans and dreams


Each module offers various opportunities for the child, adolescent, or adult being assessed to demonstrate behaviours of interest in the diagnosis of ASD. The doctor will then formulate his findings in a report and discuss further options in terms of diagnosis and/or possible treatment plans.

We can arrange to hold the Child Psychiatry and Developmental Assessment.and ASD assessments on separate days if this is more suitable for you and your family.

Please call the ADHD Centre to speak to one of our clinical team who can discuss the assessment in more detail and answer any questions you or your family might have.

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Head Office 13304
PO Box 6945
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W1A 6US

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We are a team of experienced Consultant Psychiatrists, Psychologists and ADHD Behavioural Coaches.

We have been diagnosing and treating people with ADHD since 2009.

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