Private Assessments

The Asante Centre offers a variety of assessment types on a private, fee-for-service basis.  Depending on the needs of the person and their support network, these may include specific components such as a medical, psychology or speech-language evaluation, or all of the above.  Each component offers valuable information about the person to help him or her better understand their strengths and needs, as well as those around them to determine appropriate expectations and strategies for support.

Possible assessment types are listed below.  Referrals for all types of private assessments can be initiated by legal guardians or adult clients at any time by contacting the Asante Centre. 

For more information, to request an individualized fee quotation, or to begin the intake process, please contact the Asante Centre.  Assessments may be funded by the family, or potentially by a service provider agency working with the individual. 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Assessment Services

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) can occur in a person who has been exposed to alcohol prenatally.  These effects can range from mild to severe.  They can affect each person in different ways and can include physical concerns and challenges with behavior and learning.

An assessment for FASD is much more than a possible diagnosis.  When a person is referred, there are essentially two questions examined: 1) How is the person functioning in a variety of brain domains? 2) If there are concerns in brain structure and/or function, is prenatal alcohol exposure the primary cause or is there another factor that might better explain the noted concerns? 

The Asante Centre’s multidisciplinary diagnostic team uses the 2015/2016 guidelines for diagnosing FASD.  Deciding if a person has FASD takes several steps. There is no one test to diagnose FASD, and many other disorders can have similar symptoms.  Healthcare professionals look for the following signs and symptoms when diagnosing FASD:

  • Facial features associated with prenatal alcohol exposure: A person with FASD may have three distinct facial features (smooth philtrum, thin upper lip, short palprebral fissures). The majority of people exposed, however, will not display these characteristics.
  • Functional challenges: A person with FASD can have trouble moving, speaking, or learning. He or she can also have problems with memory, senses, or social skills.  Testing during the assessment measures many areas of brain functioning.
  • Prenatal alcohol exposure Confirmation:  The diagnostic team needs to know whether or not the person’s mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. The assessment includes investigation into alcohol exposure.
A full background history is considered from prenatal records to present day, in order to determine possible impacts on brain development; these may include acquired brain injury, another syndrome such as a genetic disorder, early childhood trauma, multiple home placements, other substance use in pregnancy, an individual's own substance use, and/or mental health issues.  All aspects are taken into consideration and placed into the context of the assessment findings; if it is determined that alcohol exposure in utero was a significant cause of the concerns noted, a diagnosis under the umbrella of FASD may be made.

After the Asante Centre’s multidisciplinary team completes the assessment the clinicians meet with the family members and other support people to share the diagnosis and other relevant information about the assessment.  The Asante Centre also provides support to individuals and their families pre and post assessment.

The process and components are the same whether the person suspected of having FASD is a child, a youth or an adult, though the collection of background information and the complexity of the testing may vary with the age and abilities of the person.

Click the following link for more information on the assessment process.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Assessment Services

The Asante Centre is able to provide detailed assessments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for children and youth.  There are a number of pediatricians, psychologists, and speech-language pathologists at the Asante Centre who have extensive experience and training in the area of ASD.

An assessment for ASD typically includes an observation of the person and his or her ability to appropriately engage in social communication, as well as an interview with caregivers to determine areas of concern.  It includes specific tests (ADOS and ADI-R).  An assessment may also include a cognitive and/or speech-language evaluation, depending on the needs of the individual.

The Asante Centre follows the Standards and Guidelines for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in British Columbia, as set out by the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN).  The results of the assessments are shared in a meeting with the child’s family and in a written report.  If a child is found to meet criteria for an autism spectrum disorder the contents of the assessment meet the requirements for application to the Autism Program of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

 

Complex Developmental Needs

The Asante Centre provides multidisciplinary assessments for children and youth with complex profiles and needs.  A complex child and youth (CCY) assessment referrals may include assessments for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), specific genetic disorders such as fragile X syndrome, or for other complex needs.

The multidisciplinary assessment team will look different depending on the needs of the child or youth who is coming for the assessment.  For example, if there are difficulties noted with speech, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) will see the child. 

Once all of the clinicians have seen the child or youth for their individual assessments, they will all meet to share their results with one another.  Following that meeting, clinicians meet with the family members and other support people to share the diagnosis and other relevant information about the assessment.  The result is a comprehensive understanding of the individual, determination of eligibility to support services, and appropriate expectations for care planning.

The Asante Centre also provides support to individuals and their families pre and post assessment.


Psychological Assessment Services

The Asante Centre works with highly experienced psychologists to provide full assessments in isolation, as well as part of the multidisciplinary team assessments.  Psychology evaluations look at various areas of brain functioning to offer a comprehensive understanding of an individual's abilities and challenges.

Providing a psychological assessment begins with an understanding of the presenting concerns and questions, past history and understanding of environmental factors.  A psychological assessment evaluates thinking, learning and behaviour.  

The assessment may include interviews, observation, testing and consultation with other professionals involved in your child’s care.  Testing includes pencil and paper tasks, puzzles, drawing, and games.  The assessment covers many skill areas, such as general intellectual level, language, memory and learning, problem solving, planning and organization, fine motor skills, visual spatial skills, and academic skills (reading, math, spelling and writing). It also includes an examination of behaviour and emotions. 

In collaboration with parents, caregivers and educators, The Asante Centre aims to support each individual to reach their maximum potential.  The assessments is used to determine both the cause of an individual’s problems as well as the relative strengths.  Individuals of any age can benefit from a psychological assessment.  Some common reasons for referral include:

  • Developmental delay
  • Learning difficulties
  • Giftedness
  • Inattention or hyperactivity / impulsivity (e.g., ADHD)
  • Social difficulties
  • Mood disturbances such as anxiety or depression

After the assessment is completed the psychologist will provide feedback about the results. Sometimes feedback is offered on the same day as the assessment.  Sometimes it takes place at a later date.  A written report will be completed, outlining the results of the assessment and the recommendations for intervention.

 

Disability Services Assessment

If an individual has been previously assessed but their abilities and needs have changed as they have aged, such as during transition to high school or adulthood, it is advisable to access an updated IQ and adaptive behaviour assessment to determine eligibility to disability services such as Community Living British Columbia or disability income assistance.  Disability services assessments are completed by one of our experienced psychologists, and include testing components with the client as well as interviews with a caregiver.

Speech-Language Assessment

A common area of impairment for individuals of all ages who have FASD, ASD, or other complex developmental needs falls in the area of language, largely related to social communication, abstract language, and verbal reasoning skills.  The world is very language-heavy, and individuals often develop coping skills to mask their difficulties.  Many "speak very well," are engaging and appear highly verbal; yet, when the depth and context of the language is examined, significant gaps are identifiable.  These deficits can put individuals at high risk in the community, in relationships, in school, and in legal situations. 

Speech-language assessments offer a greater understanding of a person's communication abilities - one of the most common and complex barriers to engaging with others and in services, yet also one of the easiest to accommodate when recognized.

Medical Exam and Interview

The medical exam and interview are critical components of a comprehensive assessment, often answering the "why" questions related to a person's challenges.  The pediatrician examines the person's medical history from pregnancy to current day, considers the information in the context of current needs and developmental disability, makes recommendations for further medical care, and can explore past diagnoses for current relevance.