Melbourne Children’s Psychology Clinic


The Autism Assessment Clinic

An assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) seeks to determine the level of functioning, support needs, strengths, and diagnostic understanding of the child. There are multiple pathways to reaching an ASD diagnosis, but in most cases, it involves a multidisciplinary approach that commences with a paediatric referral to both speech and psychology and concludes with the sharing of the assessment findings with the parent. Feedback may also include referral recommendations to early intervention services and linking the family to funding support. The Autism Assessment Clinic has developed long-standing relationships with paediatrics and allied health to enable an integrated assessment for your child.

What Does Autism Look Like?

  • Areas of strength vary but include; logical or visual thinking, persistence, eye for detail, good skills with technology, memory for facts and figures
  • Very strong focus on specific interest areas
  • Deep interest in more broadly known areas like sports, Pokemon, movies, books and as well as less common areas like geographic locations of capital cities and moving parts of different modes of transport.
  • Up to 20% of Autistic people have exceptional or above average skills in one or more areas such as reading, maths, art, mechanics, music, memory etc.
  • Communicate honestly and directly
  • A dislike or difficulty with small talk, sarcasm or understanding jokes
  • Repeating words or phrases in a way that can seem out of context
  • Not using or understanding gestures like pointing
  • Using sounds, signs, gestures or pictures to communicate instead of spoken words
  • Taking extra time to understand spoken information
  • Discomfort in busy complex social situations
  • Might prefer to play alone or next to others more than with them
  • An ability to pay attention without making eye contact
  • Using or responding to body language differently
  • Social interactions are often misunderstood by non-autistic people
  • Preference for leisure based on passions
  • Non-traditional play such as repetitive lining up of toys
  • Preferring to do things in the same way
  • Comfortable socialising through technology such as phones, video conferencing or online chats and games
  • Being constantly aware or more aware of some sensations (sounds, smells, tastes, touch etc)
  • Feeling distressed or overwhelmed if there are too many sensations at once (loud noises, lots of touching, bright lights etc)
  • Working hard to avoid distress by covering ears, hiding in quiet places, etc to block out sensations
  • Discomfort with touch such as materials of clothes, tags or light touch from others
  • Seeking sensory experiences by smelling food, flicking fingers in front of lights
  • Not noticing internal sensations like hunger or pain
  • An uneven pattern of thinking abilities
  • An ability to focus on one thing for a very long time
  • Difficulty switching from one thing to another
  • An ability to notice specific details, patterns or changes that other people are unaware of
  • A strong, sometimes overwhelming, emotional connection to others
  • Repeating movements such as flapping hands or pacing around to show excitement or to help cope with stress
  • Delay in learning to understand and regulate emotions
  • Difficulties understanding how non-autistic people think in some situations (Just as non-autistic people have difficulty understanding autistic people)

To make a determination of ASD, a child’s behaviours and functioning are evaluated in relation to the diagnostic criteria set out in the international guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition. Whilst understanding the presence or absence of a clinical diagnosis is important, it is also critical to evaluate the functioning and support needs of the child and their caregiver/s. This information, gathered from multiple sources, aims to inform future service delivery and funding needs.

Assessments are tailored to the unique clinical needs of your child and include a parent interview, a child assessment, and a parent feedback session accompanied by a comprehensive report.  Depending on the unique needs of your child, psychometric testing and screening tools may include:

Clinicians that work within The Autism Assessment Clinic have a strong interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder and have done additional training and professional development to deliver excellence in care. They aim to work from a neurodiversity-affirmative approach to understanding the child.

Making An Appointment

The Autism Assessment Clinic operates from both Ivanhoe and Hampton. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact either clinic.

* information adapted from

Contact Us.

Telephone Number

(03) 9517 6272

Fax Number

(03) 9497 2004

Email Address


30 Seddon St, Ivanhoe

Telephone Number

(03) 9521 0307

Fax Number

(03) 9135 1342

Email Address


617 Hampton St, Brighton