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Autism Diagnosis Observation Schedule (ADOS) Course

Dr Rosemary Jones, Associate Specialist Dr Fiona Sandeman, Specialty Doctor Dr Jennifer Glen, Associate Specialist Dr Liza Neville, Specialty Doctor Community Child Health, Lothian SAS Project supported: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) course

The four of us all work within the Community Paediatric service in NHS Lothian, spread across different locations (St John’s Hospital, RHSC Edinburgh and Midlothian), providing on-going management of children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders,  ensuring provision of appropriate support to these children and their families. We had been carrying out a large number of preliminary assessments and organising appropriate investigations for our patients, who then had to be referred for third tier definitive diagnosis.  This can be a lengthy and frustrating process for patients and their families.

Due to a number of factors, including a significant increase in autism referrals, resource issues and a need to streamline and improve existing service provision, working with Dr Edward Doyle, Associate Medical Director, we approached the SAS Development Fund to seek access to appropriate training.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) training course, run by experienced tutors, used a highly specialised assessment tool to increase our current levels of knowledge, skills and experience.

Now, as a result of attending ADOS training funded by the SAS Development Project, we will be able to :-
• Provide locality assessment of complex cases at an improved level than before using SIGN guidelines
• Work collaboratively with CAMHS teams to co-assess cases meaning there is no longer always a need to refer patients on for definitive diagnosis
• Carry out training and assessment of medical and AHP colleagues who contribute to the autism service, adding to the overall quality of patient care
• Help to reshape autism assessment and diagnosis service provision.
• Provide additional clinical procedures

All of above is improving patient care, reducing diagnosis time and waiting time/referrals.


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