Questions You May Have
1. Can I see you in person for assessment?
I mostly offer assessment via Telehealth. This reduces overhead costs, in turn keeping assessment fees affordable. Telehealth also removes some physical accessibility barriers whilst opening up availability to folks anywhere in Australia.
I can offer in-person assessment in Brisbane 1 day a week - yay! If you are local to Brisbane and wish to discuss this option please send me an email.
2. What happens during our assessment?
I aim for assessment to feel conversational, like we're having a series of discussions. The number of assessment sessions/hours of contact we need depends on what assessment package you book, and whether further follow up is needed. If there is need for further assessment beyond what is included in Autism/ADHD assessment, I will discuss this with you and my standard session fee will apply ($220/hour).
During our series of appointments you will be emailed links to online questionnaires you can complete on your computer/smartphone. The results are returned to me. On average you will be sent 4-5 questionnaires (this can vary).
Information about you from a third party who has known you from childhood is needed in most cases. This is to document that traits were evident in your early development, satisfying current DSM 5 TR criteria. To assist in meeting this requirement, I will ask you if there is a parent, Aunty/Uncle, family member, family friend or other safe person that you would trust to complete some questionnaires about you. Other sources of helpful information are school reports, letters from school, prior assessment reports, or childhood diaries.
After our assessment conversations and all questionnaires are complete, we meet for a feedback session where we talk through the assessment outcomes. After this, I finalise your written report which is sent to you via email within 4-6 weeks after feedback.
I understand that it can sometimes be difficult to access third party information and that school reports/letters do not always yield diagnostic information (especially for masked or internalised presentations). Please be assured that I do not include or exclude diagnoses based on singular sources of third party information. My goal is to build a comprehensive understanding of you and your life.
3. Can you assess my child/teenager?
I have very limited availability for child/adolescent assessment as I intentionally focuses on adult clients. Child/teen assessment is possible for clients in the Brisbane area, in person. I do not complete child/teen assessments via Telehealth. To enquire about availability please send me an email.
4. How does payment work?
You'll be asked to provide credit/debit card information when completing intake forms (card data is stored securely in encrypted practice management software). I'm happy with payment plans e.g. dividing the total fee package into instalments paid at each appointment.
5. Am I guaranteed to be identified as Autistic/ADHD?
You may or may not receive formal identification or diagnosis. It is important to manage your expectations up front. If assessment outcomes suggest you are not Autistic or ADHD, we will still discuss the overall clinical picture of your strengths and differences during our feedback session. We will also discuss any other diagnoses that seem apparent.
6. Why would I see a Psychologist for ADHD assessment?
Excellent question! In all honesty, if you are at all considering medication should you be diagnosed with ADHD, my suggestion is to skip Psychologist assessment and go directly to a Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists conduct their own assessments when evaluating ADHD (even when given a Psychologist's report), therefore going directly to a Psychiatrist saves time and money as you won't be paying for two lots of assessment.
Psychologist assessment of ADHD can be helpful for folk who feel that they wouldn't want to try medication. It may be that they are primarily interested in knowing whether they have ADHD and learning more about how their ADHD brain works.
Occasionally, Psychiatrists refer their clients to a Psychologist for further assessment if they need more information to either confirm or exclude ADHD. This doesn't happen often, but it can happen!
7. What about medication for ADHD?
Psychologists are well trained to diagnose ADHD but we can not prescribe medication. Psychiatrists with experience in managing ADHD can work with you to discuss your suitability for different medications. To see a Psychiatrist, a GP referral is required.
8. Will a diagnosis mean I can apply for NDIS or for Centrelink/Disability Pension?
The report provided through this assessment service can be used as evidence to support an NDIS Access Request. However, you will also need other reports/supporting documents. As I am a Registered Psychologist, NDIS seeks multidisciplinary or team-based confirmation of diagnosis from at least one other allied health practitioner and/or a Paediatrician (for children), Psychiatrist or Clinical Psychologist. Your report can be used in conjunction with documentation from one of these providers to support your NDIS Access Request. NDIS Access Requests are often strengthened by including a Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA) completed by an Occupational Therapist, in addition to diagnostic assessment reports.
It is important to manage your expectations when applying to access the NDIS. While assessments and documentation are completed to robust clinical, professional and ethical standards, Psychologists, other allied health clinicians and medical practitioners have no decision-making power about your NDIS Access Request. We do our best to support applications, but NDIS/the NDIA are the sole decision-makers.
From April 1st 2023, changes to legislation about Disability Support Pension (via Centrelink) mean that Registered Psychologists can provide supporting evidence for some categories of DSP applications. Therefore, in some cases your report may be able to be used to support a DSP application depending on what grounds you are applying. If applying for DSP, additional paperwork and forms can be completed at the standard session rate ($220/hour) given the time required.
9. What else can I use the report for?
Formal diagnoses grant you the right to access supports, accommodations and reasonable adjustments in workplaces and educational institutions (e.g. TAFE, University), as well as protection under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992). Some people share reports with their GP to confirm the information as part of their medical history. Lastly (but not at all in the least), some folk find relief, hope, self-compassion, self-acceptance, celebration and deep personal meaning in formal confirmation of their neurotype.
10. Can I see you for ongoing support/therapy appointments?
I have consciously purposed this service to focus on assessment and supervision as I have limited availability, so I am unable to offer ongoing support at the present time. I am happy to recommend therapists near to your location.
11. How do I book appointments?
The first step is to book an initial appointment here. I will then email you to arrange the rest of your assessment appointments. At the link to the online portal, you can select a date and time that suits you for the initial appointment. There is a box in the top right of the booking screen that locations can be selected from (e.g. typing in 'Sydney' or 'Adelaide'). This will adjust appointment times to be in line with your timezone.