Postby dohnia » Sat Mar 25, 2023 4:41 pm
As a SENCO, private SEN tutor and parent advocate I would advise caution in going to a private EP for an ASD assessment.
Some families do choose to take the private route to access a diagnosis, however I think caution is wise.
It is possible (though not right!) that a diagnosis from a private psychologist may not be recognised or accepted by other services or professionals in the same way that a diagnosis from a recognised and established NHS service does. Having a private diagnosis in this way may therefore hinder you in accessing other important avenues of support or services for your child in the future. Therefore, it may be wise to pursue a diagnosis through the usual ‘official’ channels, such as going to your school and/or GP and requesting a referral for your child to CAMHS for an Autism assessment.
If you do go through with an NHS diagnosis there are also important (statutory) processes which have to take place, such as receiving a post diagnosis follow up appointment, and next step planning which should help to identify and refer your son to any other services he may need, such a Speech and Language Therapy etc. With a private psychologist these statutory pathways do not exist and there is no requirement for them to do anything other than the specific service that you have agreed to pay them to provide.
I think there are some fantastic private psychologists out there, but sometimes I think, even though it is undoubtedly a very long, saddening and frustrating process, it can sometimes be wise to engage with the ‘official system’ nonetheless?
If you do decide to go private you need a Clinical Psychologist for a diagnosis, as Educational Psychologists tend to instead focus on things like learning difficulties, how a diagnosis impacts upon an individual child’s ability to learn, and they can offer strategies as to how best to manage a diagnosis and identify suitable educational needs and school settings too. Often a Educational Psychologist is called into a school when a child (who already has a diagnosis from a Clinical Psychologist) is struggling to manage or needs strategies in school.
Hope this helps!