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Who can diagnose?

It’s vital to get a full assessment and diagnosis from a qualified and reliable professional or team of professionals using proper assessment tools. A professional who is willing to rule in or rule out something like autism with only a cursory appointment is not following recommended protocol.

While the diagnostic criteria for autism under the DSM-5 are consistent across Australia, the requirements of who can formally make a diagnosis can differ from state to state.

For instance, some states require that a child be diagnosed by a multi-disciplinary panel, while other states allow a single specialist (e.g. developmental paediatrician) to make the diagnosis on their own.

Below, we have summarized the individual requirements for each state and territory, as per available information. If you have any specific questions, please contact the autism association in your state or territory. Details are provided below. Please see your GP (or paediatrician) for appropriate referrals.

State by state requirements for children

ACT

Territory autism association: Autism Asperger ACT
Web site: http://www.autismaspergeract.com.au/
Phone: (02) 6176 0514

NSW

State autism association: Autism Spectrum Australia [ASPECT]
Web site: http://www.autismspectrum.org.au
Phone: 1-800 ASPECT (1800 277 328)

Conclusive diagnosis can be made by:

  1. Paediatrician/developmental paediatrician OR
  2. Child psychiatrist OR
  3. Multi-disciplinary team (must include psychologist + speech therapist, but may also include an occupational therapist with ASD experience)

NSW AAP Application & Consent

NT

Territory autism association: Autism NT
Web site: www.autismnt.org.au
Phone: (08) 8948 4424

(Please note, however, that the “Helping Children With Autism” package for NT residents is administered through Autism SA: http://www.autismsa.org.au/ )

QLD

State autism association: Autism Queensland
Web site: www.autismqld.com.au
Phone: (07) 3273 0000

Conclusive diagnosis can be made by:

  1. Paediatrician/developmental paediatrician OR
  2. Child psychiatrist

SA

State autism association: Autism SA
Web site: www.autismsa.org.au
Phone: (08) 8379 6976

Conclusive diagnosis can be made by:

  1. Autism SA assessment team OR
  2. Autism SA-approved community health care (hospital based) multi-disciplinary teams OR
  3. Autism SA-approved private multidisciplinary team (must include two professionals from approved list of speech therapists, paediatricians, psychologists & psychiatrists)

Accessing Diagnostic Assessment from Autism SA

TAS

State autism association: Autism Tasmania
Web site: www.autismtas.org.au
Phone: 03 6231 2745 (Hobart) or  03 6344 1212 (Launceston)

VIC

State autism association: AMAZE
Web site: www.amaze.org.au
Phone: 03 9657 1600

http://www.amaze.org.au/discover/about-autism-spectrum-disorders/assessment-diagnosis/

Conclusive diagnosis can be made by:

  1. For children up to 17 by a multi-disciplinary panel that includes (a) paediatrician/developmental paediatrician or child/adolescent psychiatrist plus (b) psychologist plus (c ) speech therapist
    AMAZE spells out the steps for seeking an assessment/diagnosis very clearly on this link:

Assessment Diagnosis

WA

State autism association: Autism Association of Western Australian
Web site: www.autism.org.au
Phone: (08) 9489 8900

Conclusive diagnosis can be made by:

  1. For children up to 12 years old by a multi-disciplinary panel that includes (a) paediatrician/developmental paediatrician plus (b) clinical psychologist plus (c ) speech therapist
  2. For children 12-17 by a multi-disciplinary panel that includes (a) clinical psychologist plus (b) paediatrician or child/adolescent psychiatrist plus (c) speech therapist in some cases (not all)
    For more details, please see:

Autism Advisor

Adult assessment & diagnosis

For young adults/adults seeking an assessment and diagnosis, if warranted, the best course of action is to meet with a clinical psychologist and/or psychiatrist who has a deep understanding of autism and experience with the formal assessment and diagnosis process. That process is likely going to include a lot of questions about your childhood and school years, as well as experiences as an adult. As part of the assessment, there will likely be some psychological or psychiatric testing conducted.

To locate a qualified professional near you, please check out the following links:

Find A Psychologist (Under “Mental Health,” please select “Autism”)

Find A Psychiatrist: