Private Diagnosis - what type of assessor?

Today it was confirmed that the waiting time for my NHS assessment is going to be 20+ months. So I’m back to looking at a private assessment again.

I was wondering if anyone could offer an opinion on private assessments and the best person to be assessed by?

I have found two routes fairly local to me:

1 - A mental health therapist who is an accredited autism assessor who uses the ADI-R and the ADOS (found this person on my local Autism recommendations directory)

2- A Chartered clinical psychologist who uses DISCO and ADOS-2 (this particular psychologist is recommended by someone on this forum)

How do I know which route to take? Are all assessments valid when trying to access support (whether that be DLA, or therapy etc)

As they are private I dont want to spend money and then find it’s not an accepted diagnosis from a therapist for example? (If I am diagnosed that is) Or because they both have autism assessment training does it make any difference? Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

  • my private one was with a clinical psychologist, who is actually the same one the NHS use. So fully accepted and valid.

    Could you perhaps email them/your GP to ask if their diagnoses are accepted by the NHS/other services

  • Thanks for your reply. I asked the MH therapist and she said she is supervised by a clinical psychologist and her assessments are the same as the NHS as she used to work for them too. 

    I dont know what services/support I would be looking at in order to check. Do you think just ask the gp?

  • There is a lot of urban myth that private diagnoses are not recognized by the NHS.

    I have not found this to be so, in fact NICE guidelines state that no one should be discriminated against because of having private diagnoses or private treatment.

    Obviously someone should be qualified for the diagnosis but someone advertising that they are qualified will be so, otherwise they will face penalties of the law for fraud.  Find out beforehand by asking questions,!if they want your!custom they will not be evasive.  Añd there are lists on this site of those who work privately.

  • There is a lot of urban myth that private diagnoses are not recognized by the NHS.

    I have not found this to be so, in fact NICE guidelines state that no one should be discriminated against because of having private diagnoses or private treatment.

    Obviously someone should be qualified for the diagnosis but someone advertising that they are qualified will be so, otherwise they will face penalties of the law for fraud.  Find out beforehand by asking questions,!if they want your!custom they will not be evasive.  Añd there are lists on this site of those who work privately.

  • Thank you, both of the assessors are listed on my local page and on the nas directory, so i guess no reason to doubt the validity of the outcome?

  • Have you decided to give the "Psychologists" another go then?? :) 

  • My situation is that I have a private assessment by someone who is recognised by a local Autism charity but the local NHS are in breach of their NICE Guidelines.  I am escalating that this month.

    My assessor used the EQ/AQ questionnaires which gave enough to warrant the full assessment and subsequent diagnosis of Aspergers (TBH there are differences between that and High Functioning Autism).

    I still believe it is all down to money/bean counters in the NHS and if you meet the 16% in employment then there is nothing much wrong with you.

  • I had my assessment done privately with a clinical pyschologist. A lot of clinical psychologists privately tend to do the assessments for the NHS as well. The only difference is it costs more but you can get it done a lot quicker. 

    When i had my diagnosis, she sent the letter to my GP so it was recorded on my medical records. Just as long as the diagnosis is official and comes from an experienced assessor/pyschologist it will still count as an official diagnosis. 

    One thing I would say is if you are to go down the pyschologist route, just use them for the diagnosis. I carried on seeing mine following my diagnosis and I ended up paying for sessions which were pretty pointless. She just kept asking me 'how i was' and there was no actual benefit from the sessions. 

    The best thing to do is get the diagnosis then have CBT or therapy to help with anxiety seperately. 

  • Well this is the thing, from autism hampshire i have also found 3 counties who come in much cheaper than h&s do so I’m just checking my options to see what would be a better route. Its the difference of about £700 

  • Thanks thats helpful to know regarding after sessions