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Diagnostic and Assessment Centre

Director: Helen Appleton

The process of getting an initial diagnosis of autism or even a follow up assessment is daunting for children and their families. Children with autism are generally uncomfortable in new spaces or with novel people, cannot sit still for long periods of time and struggle with the verbal instructions that make up most formal assessments. For parents the diagnostic process is just as confronting, with the combination of fear and hope that comes with a formal assessment.

The Stepping Stones D&A Centre aims to provide families with a formal diagnostic process that minimizes the stress and difficulties often associated with the assessment procedure. Assessments are completed by Giant Steps therapists, who have considerable experience working with young people with autism and developmental delays.

Assessments can be for initial diagnosis, progress reviews or formal reporting for school or service access. The assessment process includes on-sysite observations and use of standardised tests, parent interviews/feedback and off-site visits as needed.

Example of tests used
Cost (inc GST)

Autism Assessment



Psychometric / Developmental Assessment

Standford Binet 5, Griffiths, ABAS, Vinelands


Speech Assessment



Occupational Therapy Assessment



Neil Nicoll  -  Consultant Psychologist

Neil Nicoll has worked as an Educational and Developmental Psychologist for some 30 years. Neil has an extensive background in the assessment, diagnosis, and management of children with a range of developmental delays and disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, and a range of other genetic and chromosomal disorders including VCFS. Neil is currently employed in his own private practice, and has been so for a number of years. Neil has also worked in research at the Children's Hospital Education Research Institute, and the Children's Hospital at Westmead in the context of disabling conditions. Neil in his past has fulfilled the role New South Wales chair of the College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists.

Mr Nicoll has also been involved in the training of many Psychologists and Medical Practitioners in relation to the assessment and diagnosis of children with developmental delays and disorders. He has presented at both national and international conferences and has supervised other psychologists in relation to developmental psychology.

For further information regarding diagnostic services contact or 02 9879 4971