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How do I get an Autism diagnosis?

To get an adult diagnosis for Autism, you can follow these steps: 


Begin by using a self-report questionnaire such as the Autism Spectrum Quotient-10 (AQ-10) to assess traits associated with autism. This can provide an initial indication of whether further assessment might be necessary. 


You can request a referral from your general practitioner (GP) or any other health professional you are currently seeing, such as a psychologist. They can refer you to a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or a team of professionals specialising in autism diagnosis. 


Diagnostic Assessments: 
Once referred, you may undergo one or more diagnostic assessments, including: 

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2):

    • This structured assessment observes how you interact socially, communicate, and engage, providing crucial insights for diagnosis. 

  • Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R):  

    • This comprehensive interview gathers information about your early development and current behaviours related to autism symptoms. 

  • RAADS-R (Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised):  

    • This self-report questionnaire assesses a wide range of autism-related behaviours specifically designed for adults. 

  • ADOS-2 Module 4:  

    • If you're verbally fluent without cognitive disabilities, this module focuses on social communication and interaction, as well as imaginative play. 


Support Person: 
You may be encouraged to bring someone who knew you as a child, such as a parent or older sibling, to provide additional insights into your childhood behaviour. 


Waiting Times: 
Be aware that waiting times for assessments may vary, so it's important to remain patient throughout the process. 

Following the assessments, there will likely be follow-up appointments to discuss the results and any further steps, including support and treatment options. 


By following these steps, you can work towards obtaining an adult diagnosis for Autism and gaining a better understanding of your neurodevelopmental profile. 

Private assessments - UK 

Waiting times for NHS assessments are long so if you have the means to go privately, this is what you might expect to consider:


Find Recognised Clinicians 

Ensure that the diagnosing clinicians are recognised members of the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK or the appropriate one for your country. This ensures they meet professional standards for medical practice. For the UK - that they are CQC approved assessors and that they are regularly inspected by the CQC.  Check the staff are reviewed and trained regularly.    

Check for Shared Care Agreement 

Liaise with your GP to ensure that your private provider will accept a 'Shared Care Agreement'. This means they will accept the findings and administration from your provider and take on the prescribing of medication under your national healthcare provider. This can help avoid the cost of private prescriptions. 

Check what support they offer to individuals who don’t meet the criteria for an Autism diagnosis. There should be a percentage of those who don’t receive one too.  


Resources for Finding Private Autism Assessment Clinics 

There are resources available online that provide lists of private Autism assessment clinics. You can search for these resources to find clinics in your area. Recommendations are also a good idea. We suggest looking at the how many times they diagnose people and what support they offer to those who do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis as well.  

By considering these factors and seeking a private assessment for Autism from recognised clinicians, you can potentially expedite the diagnosis process and access appropriate support and treatment tailored to your needs.

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