Clinical Autism Diagnostic Service

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CADS was created to support the nationwide problem of extensive waiting times faced by people who suspect they or someone in their family, may have autism.

Our Story

CADS was founded by Dr Astrid van Wilsem and Tania Richards, between us we have over 37 years experience of providing assessment and support for children and adults with autism and we have worked closely together over the past 3 years providing diagnostic assessments for autism.

We pride ourselves in providing an expert multi-professional service, ensuring our assessment methods are of the highest clinical standard. We follow NICE guidelines for standards of Autism and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) assessments. All of our therapists are registered with the Health Care Professional Council and adhere to professional code of conducts and ethics. Three clinician's are involved in every assessment and every therapist has extensive experience of Autism diagnosis within NHS assessment centres. Within our team we have therapists skilled in assessing and supporting people with ADHD.

We aim to ensure the process is as comfortable for everyone as possible, and once we have established that an autism assessment is an appropriate way forward, we are committed to ensure that your first appointment will take place within a few weeks. We offer some weekend and evening appointments to reduce disruption to work and school life.

Meet The Team

Dr Astrid van Wilsem is a Clinical Psychologist specialised in autism. In her private practice she sees children, young people and adults who have been diagnosed with autism and need psychological intervention. She also have expertise in bereavement and grief counselling.  

Through her private practice she has worked for the NHS to reduce their waiting list for autism assessments. In her extended family she has a few people with a diagnosis of autism. This has given her experience and insight into living with autism, which she finds a very useful attribution to her professional practice.

As a Speech and Language Therapist Tania has over 20 years experience of working with children, young people and adults with a range of communication difficulties, including those with poor attention and listening skills, difficulty understanding and using language, and poor speech sound development, and social communication needs.


Much of Tania’s work within the NHS involved multidisciplinary work through diagnostic and interventions specifically focused on clients with suspected/autistic spectrum conditions. She has worked specifically within schools and colleges for children with autistic spectrum conditions for the past 17 years.  She has also worked closely with a consultant paediatrician as a part of an autism diagnostic team and through her private practice has worked for a partner of the NHS service helping to reduce waiting lists for autism assessments.


Initial Telephone consultation

It is important to get the diagnosis right; during this session we can discuss options for you and your family. we offer a free, brief telephone consultation explaining the assessment process and to consider whether you would like to continue with formal assessment

Fee: complimentary

Gold standard autism assessment

The assessment involves two main appointments. The first is to gather a detailed history about your child's development/yourself using the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R).

The second is a direct observation exploring patterns of interaction in more detail using a standardised measure (ADOS-2;Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule;second edition).

In addition, information is also gathered from schools, colleges, universities through screening questionnaires. 

This option includes a detailed diagnostic report, advice and recommendations

Fee: £1500

ADHD Assessment

The assessment involves a combination of screening questionnaires ACE (children) and DIVA (adults) and information is also gathered through the Connors and direct observation. 

The assessment process and fee is dependent upon a stand alone ADHD assessment or if a dual diagnosis is being explored. 

Fee: £650+

bespoke intervention to support people with autism

We offer a range of services to support individuals with moving forward following diagnosis. Interventions include workshops, staff training, teaching and family support and individual interventions. 

The service can be commissioned by schools, employers or families depending on what is best for your requirements.

Fee: POA

What We Do


This is a 1-hour long initial online meeting to discuss the reason for referral, current worries and behaviours, risk assessment and pregnancy, birth and other perinatal difficulties



The Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R)  is a very detailed 3 hour long online interview and this can be carried out via video chat.  



The Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS) takes around 1-1.5 hours, and will be carried out face to face or online with the clinician.





Multi Disciplinary Team: Once the information gathering process is complete,  we  then meet to discuss  our  findings and put this against the DSM-5 criteria. 


School Feedback Questionnaire; this questionnaire will be sent to school (if applicable) to get information from a school perspective


  • A Feedback Appointment will be offered: the outcome of the assessment is then relayed back to you in a 1 hour feedback session so that we can explain our findings in detail.

  • Report: We will send out a detailed report explaining the results, local supports and further recommendations.


Market Harborough, Leicestershire T: 07759 327 039


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