Diagnostic services. 

At the Lorna Wing Centres for Autism, we offer a range of specialist diagnostic and assessment services for children, young people and adults, using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) framework 

What is DISCO?

History of DISCO

Why use DISCO?

Use of DISCO in research

What services do we offer?

The services we offer include:
  1. full diagnostic assessments
  2. assessments for children, young people and adults.

1. Pre-diagnostic consultations

This consultation service is available to parents who are concerned that their child or young person has an autism spectrum disorder and are seeking advice on whether or not pursue a diagnostic assessment now or in the future.

2. Diagnostic assessments for children, young people and adults

Children and adults, together with their parents or carers are seen for a whole or half day. We take a detailed developmental history using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). This is a semi-structured interview designed to find out about the person's history up to current day-to-day functioning. At the same time, we carry out an in-depth assessment with the child or adult concerned. We also collect information from previous assessments and any other relevant sources.

We bring together all this information to formulate a clear diagnosis and recommendation of needs and prepare in-depth reports. We take care to consider the interventions already in place and think about where it might be possible to endorse current practice. If we think further intervention or new options for a person are necessary, we give guidance for consideration.

A clear understanding of the nature of the difficulties experienced by the child or adult concerned is very important for the person, families and professionals involved. It will also help professionals working with the person and their family to provide appropriate intervention and support.

How do referrals work?

There are three ways that people are referred to us for an assessment.

1. A commissioned NHS referral by a medical professional 
2. Commissioned referral by block contract with a public sector service 
3. Self-referral 

How do we provide feedback?

We explain findings and conclusions in detail on the day of the assessment. In addition, we discuss any recommendations and follow-up pathways with the person, or their parents or carers. There is plenty of time for discussion around the findings. 

People often have questions about coping with difficult behaviour and different interventions. We can give some general advice and referrals may be recommended back to local services and to the network of the national and local autism societies for specific help. 

We provide a comprehensive report with findings and recommendations. The draft report is sent to parents, carers or the adults to check on specific family details and developmental history. We then send the final report to the referrers.

How are our assessments funded?

The Lorna Wing Centres for Autism are a recognised diagnostic service provider.

NHS or public service funded referrals are agreed by their local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) or public service providers.
Self-referrals can be self-funded or paid for by private healthcare provider with their agreement.