Cornwall Autism was established by us; friends and colleagues Mary Hosken and Oni Law. We both work in the NHS as well as in private practice and we understand the need for a robust and ethical private ASD assessment pathway down here in the Southwest of England. Through our work, we have noticed the increasing gap in service provision for Autism assessments for children and young people. Having helped establish the local Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment Team (ASDAT) and the new Neurodevelopmental Service in Cornwall we have a very clear understanding of what an assessment team should offer families. We have a clear understanding of NICE guidance for ASD diagnosis and have a comprehensive knowledge of the DSM5 criteria for ASD. In addition to this, we are both also parents ourselves and can relate to the joys and challenges that this brings. We recognise the importance of developing a deeper understanding of our children’s unique qualities in order to be the best parents we are able to be.
We are also very lucky to be able to call on the expertise of both Lisa White, a mental health nurse and Dr Sophie Augarde Clinical Psychologist, when their skills are required. They are are also great friends of ours but more importantly are hugely experienced clinicians both of whom have been involved in ASD diagnosis and support for many years.
Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist / Mental Health Practitioner / COMPANY DIRECTOR
"I am an HCPC registered Occupational Therapist with over 20 years experience of working in health services both in the UK and in New Zealand. I have spent many years working with young people and families within CAMHS services in the North West and in Cornwall. Since 2013 I have worked exclusively in children's autism and neurodevelopmental assessment teams in both a clinical and leadership role. I recognise the benefits of diagnosis in helping a child or young person understand themselves, as well as equipping those around them to support them around their specific needs. As an Occupational Therapist, I strongly believe in recognising a child’s unique strengths as well as the things they find difficult, in order to help them to build on their skills, learn coping strategies and develop their independence as they progress through their education into adulthood.
I have a broad knowledge of neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health problems, and an understanding of how these can impact on a child’s functioning, particularly in terms of their sensory processing skills. I love working with families, hearing their stories and helping them to find ways to develop together.
Outside of work, I am married to Andy and a mother of 2 boys and a girl. Our latest family adventure has been in planting an orchard with the plan to start producing cider and apple juice in a couple of years time. I live in Devon but work in Cornwall, where I was born and my family still live. I love spending time with family and friends, walking and exploring parts of our beautiful countryside. I also love reading and listening to audible books which I do on my long drives to work!”
Catriona 'Oni' Law
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist / COMPANY DIRECTOR
"I have been a Speech and Language Therapist working in the NHS since 2007, over that time I have had various Community roles all of which have involved working closely with families to support the Speech, Language and Communication Needs of their child. In 2014 I started working in Cornwall’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment Team and became an ASD Clinical Lead for the SLT service. Since taking on this role I have had many opportunities to develop my clinical skills focused specifically on ASD and other Neurodevelopmental Conditions both within ASDAT but also with CAMHS, contributing to their ASD assessments and providing the service with training on the use of Online ASD assessments.
I have developed a particular interest in understanding a young person’s social communication and language profile. This information not only adds diagnostic information to our clinical discussions and reasoning, but also my hope is that it helps families understand their child’s specific communication needs, so ensuring appropriate adaptations and supports are put in place.
Also, very importantly, I am married to Al, a wedding photographer, and am a mum to two children and a beloved dog ‘Daffy’. I hail from Scotland but sadly moved away young so never developed a Scottish accent. I enjoy walking (with café pit-stops), art and Netflix”.
Highly Specialist Mental Health Nurse
"I am a 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 I have worked exclusively in a children's autism assessment team in a clinical and safeguarding role."
Dr Sophie Augarde
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
"I am 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, I have 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".
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.