Welcome to Cornwall Autism

Identifying and celebrating Neurodiversity in the South West

CORNWALL AUTISM specialise in private autism assessment in Cornwall for children and young people from 6 years.

Ensuring families receive an appropriate private ASD diagnosis for their child is our absolute priority. We have been involved in NHS ASD assessments for many years and understand the absolute necessity to get it right.

Cornwall Autism also want to celebrate the brilliance of the autistic children and young people we meet. We therefore ensure that a thorough assessment of both strengths and needs takes place, and it is only once we have detailed information about your child and family, as outlined in the National Institution for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance, that we use our clinical observations and the DSM5 criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder to determine whether a diagnosis is appropriate for your child.

We are a multidisciplinary team consisting of an Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Nurse.

We can use both online and face-to-face methods to gather information, and can tailor these to suit your child and family’s needs. During our assessments we utilise standardised assessments including the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) and Autism Diagnostic Observations Schedule -2 (ADOS-2).

Finally we are very aware how daunting the diagnosis process is, we want to be able to guide you through this as sensitively and helpfully as we can.

What Cornwall Autism offer:

  • Self-Referral and Free Initial Consultation

    No professional endorsement is required; parents can contact Cornwall Autism themselves and request a free initial consultation to discuss the assessment process and ask any questions. We will then send out some screening tools to ensure that an autism assessment is appropriate for your child. This will be a free of charge service, so that people who are unlikely to meet the criteria for an autism diagnosis are not put forward for assessment unless discussed otherwise.
  • Clear and transparent pricing structure

    Cornwall Autism have a flexible and upfront pricing system as we understand the financial commitment involved in opting for a private ASD assessment in Cornwall. If your child receives a diagnosis of ASD we will provide a full report and signposting advice. If however we feel ASD is not the appropriate diagnosis for your child, you can opt to have a full report including recommendations, or we can provide a shortened report at a reduced cost. By offering this option, we at Cornwall Autism hope it will enable families to move forward and seek the help they need. Ensuring children and young people get the RIGHT diagnosis and appropriate support is our absolute priority.
  • Seen quickly for an Online, Face to Face or Hybrid Assessment

    We are very aware of the long waiting times for ASD diagnosis within the NHS. By opting for a private autism assessment with Cornwall Autism you will be seen quickly and at a time to suit you. We can assess your child from the comfort of your own home using our online service via a secure video platform, alternatively, we can arrange to see you in clinic for face-to-face assessments.
  • Links with local services and organisations

    We have worked in Cornwall for many years and have established links within the NHS, Cornwall Council and local charities and organisations, ensuring Cornwall Autism are able to signpost you to appropriate support and services. Multidisciplinary working is essential during the assessment process but also afterwards too, once your assessment is complete, if you wish, we will be able to pass your care onto organisations such as private Occupational Therapists, Autism Support Services and Speech and Language Therapists.
  • Highly experienced clinicians

    Cornwall Autism was established by Mary Hosken and Oni Law, both of whom are highly skilled HCPC registered therapists currently working in the NHS ASDAT and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Team and have many years experience of diagnosing and working with children and young people with ASD, Neurodevelopmental conditions, emotional and behavioural difficulties and mental health issues. We are also able to call on the hugely experienced Lisa White, a Mental Health Nurse who also currently works with the ASDAT team, and Dr Sophie Augarde, Clinical Psychologist who has worked for both ASDAT and the Autism Spectrum Team in Cornwall Council.
  • Child friendly assessments

    Here at Cornwall Autism, we understand how daunting it is for children and families to engage in an assessment process; we therefore ensure that we talk you though every step and tailor the assessment to suit your family's needs. The child assessment is fun and our clinicians are skilled at putting children and young people at ease. Following our assessment we hope your child will have a better understanding of their individual differences, empowering them to understand their own strengths and areas of need; we believe that by having a better understanding of ourselves we can develop more resilience, self-worth and greater self esteem.

Who Cornwall Autism are:

  • Mary Hosken - MEd DipCOT MRCOT

    HIGHLY SPECIALIST OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AND MENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER

    Mary is an HCPC registered Occupational Therapist with over 20 years experience of working in health services both in the UK and in New Zealand. She has spent many years working with young people and families within CAMHS services in the North West and in Cornwall. Since 2014 she has worked exclusively in a children's autism assessment team in both a clinical and leadership role.

  • Catriona 'Oni' Law - BSc (Hons) BA (Hons)

    Highly Specialist Speech and Language THerapist

    Oni is an HCPC registered Speech and Language Therapist who loves working with children and young people. She has worked in the NHS since 2007 and is currently working for Cornwall Foundation Trust's Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Team and is an ASD clinical lead for Cornwall's NHS Speech and Language Therapy service.

  • Lisa White - BA (Hons), Dip HE Nursing Mental Health

    Highly Specialist Mental Health Nurse

    Lisa is an HCPC and Nursing and Midwifery Council registered mental health nurse with over 9 years experience working with young people and families within CAMHS services and the drugs and alcohol team within Cornwall. Since 2016 she has worked exclusively in a children's autism assessment team in a clinical and safeguarding role.

  • Dr Sophie Augarde - DClinPsy (CPsychol)

    Chartered Clinical Psychologist

    Sophie is an HCPC registered and chartered Clinical Psychologist who has had the privilege of working with and supporting neurodevelopmentally diverse young people and their families across Cornwall and other parts of the UK. Locally, she has worked in the Cornwall Council Autism Spectrum Team as well as in the NHS for the Cornwall CAMHS Learning Disability Team and with Mary, Oni and Lisa in the Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment Team.

What People say about Cornwall Autism

  • Helen (Parent)

    "We felt totally at ease with Oni and Mary. Nothing was rushed with every detail discussed. The assessment was face-to-face and online which made it easier for our son. The recommendations that we received were so helpful, particularly when discussing the diagnosis with our son. The follow up emails after the diagnosis checking on our wellbeing and asking if we needed any further information showed both Oni and Mary go above and beyond to help. A fantastic service. Our son can now receive the help he needs - thank you."
  • Emma (Parent)

    "Mary and Oni were hugely supportive, sympathetic and explained the process really clearly. They were reassuring to us as everything was very new and unknown and always on hand to answer any questions we had. Once we had started the process, they were able to process things really quickly and at times to suit us which was really helpful. They listened really carefully, were professional at all times and we were both surprised quite how quickly they ‘got’ our daughter as well as some of the things they identified that we hadn’t noticed before but are now really aware of."
  • Anna (Parent)

    "Both Oni and Mary are very approachable, knowledgeable, and easy to speak to. They responded quickly and flexibly to our needs. The report was thorough and reflected what we shared with them as well as information from school. The combination of virtual assessment with us and face to face with our son worked well for us".

Our View on Terminology ASD/autism

As a diagnostic service we use the term ‘autism spectrum disorder’, or ‘ASD’ in our reports and also on our website for two reasons:

  • In order that people will discover our website when searching using a variety of terms including autism, autism spectrum disorder and ASD
  • To ensure that our diagnostic conclusions are clearly aligned to the current diagnostic manual (DSM-5) and our reports are therefore recognised as valid by statutory agencies including health, social care and education.

We do not, however, view autism as a ‘disorder’ or something that needs to be fixed, but rather as a pattern of strengths and challenges which are shared by other people who also identify as autistic. Whilst there may be some similarities in terms of these patterns of strengths and difficulties, we recognise that each autistic individual is unique and has their own unique strengths and challenges. Our aim is to help others around each person to recognise their strengths and their huge potential to grow and achieve great things in their lives.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or would like to arrange a private Autism assessment for your child here in Cornwall.