ONLINE COURSE: Masterclass – Diagnosis with Autistic Adults


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  • 5 hours 32 mins
  • 30 days to complete course. A once-off 30-day extension is available. See our FAQs for further information.
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Certificate of completion
  • Suitable for professionals

Course Description

In this workshop, we present information from the latest research and our combined over 80 years of experience specialising in autism to inform the diagnostic assessment to determine if the client is autistic. This workshop will add to discipline-specific knowledge on diagnostic assessment with a focus on what data to collect in the assessment of an older autistic adolescent or adult who may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to discover whether or not the person has autism and to understand the potential differential and comorbid diagnoses.

The course will increase the participants’ discipline-specific knowledge about diagnostic assessment to include current best practices for assessing an older adolescent or adult who may have autism (NB: the training describes many different assessment tools, e.g. the ADI-R, ADOS2 and the CARS but is not a training in one specific tool). The course adds to the discipline knowledge and experience the participant brings to the course, and is not an accreditation for being able to provide diagnostic assessments for autism.

Who will benefit?

Professionals who see adults and/or older adolescents with autism as part of their work, including Psychologists and psychiatrists, GPs, Employment agencies, Social workers and counsellors, High school teachers and teacher assistants, Occupational therapists, Speech pathologists, Staff in clinics for mental health problems, eating disorders, substance use issues, gender identity issues, and forensic issues.

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This workshop will add to discipline-specific knowledge on diagnostic assessment with a focus on what data to collect in the assessment of an older autistic adolescent or adult who may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to discover whether or not the person has autism, and to understand the differential and comorbid diagnoses.

About the speakers

Prof Tony Attwood PhD With a career spanning five decades, Professor Tony Attwood is considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has an Honour’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hull, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey and a PhD from the University of London. He is currently an adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland. Tony has written many publications on Asperger’s Syndrome. His original book, titled Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals was published in 1998 and has been translated into over 25 languages.

Tony operates a diagnostic and psychological support clinic two days a week for children and adults. He also spends considerable time travelling nationally and internationally to present workshops and seminars.


Dr Michelle Garnett PhD is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in autism for nearly three decades. Her peer-reviewed research has informed understanding of early detection, the female profile and the importance of good mental health for autistic individuals. She has co-authored six highly regarded books on autism, five with Prof Tony Attwood. Her 2018 book with Barb Cook is a seminal work on the female presentation, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. Her most recent books Having Fun with Feelings on the Autism Spectrum and Ten Steps to Reducing Your Child Anxiety on the Autism Spectrum provide guidance to parents of young children on the autism spectrum.  She regularly provides training to four Australian Universities.


Learning Objectives

  • What to assess during a diagnostic assessment for an adult or older adolescent who may have autism
  • Recommended screening and diagnostic instruments for autism and additional assessment procedures based on extensive clinical experience
  • How to identify and assess comorbid and differential diagnoses
  • Report preparation and composition
  • To use the diagnostic information to plan support and therapy at home and work
  • How to share the diagnostic assessment results with family

Module Breakdown

Module 1 – Prevalence and gender ratio in ASD, use of DSM-5 criteria, assessing for co-morbidity and latest research, importance of alexithymia, psychological reactions to being different and screening for depression.

Module 2 – Initial screening and diagnostic tools – review and recommendations. Discussion of camouflage and personality types in autism. Guidelines for the pre-diagnostic interview and the interview process.

Module 3 – How to assess the areas of catatonia, sensory sensitivity and clinical impairment in autism. A live diagnostic assessment with an adult conducted by Tony. Questions and answers.

Module 4 – Differential and co morbid diagnoses, including PTSD and complex PTSD, BPD, eating disorders, gender identity, addiction and schizophrenia. How to explain the diagnosis, reactions to the diagnosis and prognosis