About autism and developmental assessment

  • The pages in this section are for parents, caregivers, referrers and professionals involved with a child presenting with symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition where social skills, communication and behaviour can be affected. It is a spectrum, with varying levels of complexity and severity. ASD shares symptoms with a number of other developmental conditions. This means that the assessment process can sometimes be complex, and accessing the right intervention for a child can be equally challenging.

    Autism assessment and service-access processes can be hard to follow at times. While a formal assessment is often an important step in a child’s care pathway, other actions may be required before this can take place. For young children with ASD symptoms, diagnosis and/or assessment does not need to come before intervention. In fact, the opposite is increasingly recommended. All children presenting with symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) should be supported to access appropriate interventions as soon as possible when concerns arise. This may be through:

    • private medical and allied health practitioners
    • community health providers 
    • childcare and education-based staff
    • hospital-based clinicians such as paediatricians
    • the National Disability Insurance Scheme

    Please see the Links page in this section for redirections to other websites or organisations that can help when accessing support for any child presenting with symptoms of ASD.