Pathway to an autism diagnosis

If you believe that you or your child may be autistic, you will likely be wondering what to do to find out for sure.

The first step in the process is to speak to your doctor or therapist. Parents may consider discussing the subject with a health visitor/GP or a SENCO at your child’s school. If the referral is for your child who is over 18 or for yourself then contact your GP.

Let your GP know what you or your child is struggling with on a daily basis. Sometimes it is helpful to make notes to take with your prior to the appointment, so that you do not become overwhelmed with trying to remember all the important details

Ask the GP for a referral for an autism assessment. If your child meets the criteria, they will be referred for assessment by a paediatrician. A health professional such as a psychiatrist or licenced psychologist can make an official diagnosis for an adult.

The assessment process for children can involve reports from staff at your child’s school and may also involve a team of other professionals, such as Speech & Language Therapists, who will assess the support needs of your child before creating a report which informs the paediatrician.

The paediatrician may not give a diagnosis immediately. They might require more information from various sources to support their assessment and may ask you and your child to return in 6-12 months for a review. At the review, you will receive the outcome of the paediatrician’s assessment.

A diagnosis can be very helpful in giving peace of mind. It can help a parent give and gain the right support for their child, and may open up other benefits and avenues of support.

Assessments can be obtained via the NHS, but waiting times can be very long. Some individuals have waited up to 2 years for a diagnosis assessment. If an assessment is required sooner, there is the option to pay to see a private autism specialist. Costs can range from £1,500 to £2,500 for a private assessment.

Diagnosis steps

  • Consult your doctor or therapist about autism concerns.
  • Prepare notes outlining daily struggles before your appointment to ensure all important details are discussed.
  • Ask your GP for an autism assessment referral.

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how to access Autism Together’s services

Joining autism together

Our staff are knowledgeable, experienced and ready to support autistic people right through their journey with Autism Together. Our team gets to know the person we are supporting, using a functional and ongoing assessment of their needs.

Following the assessment, we will recommend individually-tailored autism approaches to support the person, along with an appropriate placement, depending on their needs, in residential, supported living or day services.

Autism Together’s Support Journey

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