Just referred for diagnosis

After years of suspecting that I am autistic, I have just this morning been referred for assessment by my GP.

My son was diagnosed a few years back, and my GP agreed with me that I also exhibit many traits,. and said that he thinks a diagnosis would be helpful for me.

I live in the north of England, and have been referred to a centre in Sheffield for assessment. This would be on the NHS, but my GP explained that the waiting list could be really long for this. He also gave me information about a local service which do private assessments, where I could be seen much sooner.

Does anyone have any experience of using the NHS service based in Sheffield, and what are your experiences of it? How long is the waiting list likely to be, and what did you feel about the diagnostic process?

Also, what are people's experiences of private assessments versus NHS?

Any ideas or advice would be helpful.

  • It is shocking to read of long waiting times and of huge variations in waiting times depending of where you live. I was diagnosed via NHS in Bristol in just over five months from asking my GP for a diagnosis to formal diagnosis itself. At my referral appointment I was however told that diagnosis might be between nine and twelve months.

  • Thank you for your replies. It's helpful to hear other people's responses. The waiting times do seem to really vary depending on where you live. I found this when getting my son diagnosed too.

    I think it looks like the Sheffield one is going to be a really long wait, and as I don't live close enough to go on their last minute cancellation list.

    Thanks for the link to the blog about the place in Sheffield and the assessment. That was really helpful to read.

    I found a reputable local private service which I'm considering having an assessment with.

    Isn't it odd that even when I've suspected this about myself for years and years, once a doctor has actually agreed with me and started the process, now my anxieties are really high about getting it done as instantly as possible? I've never been very good at waiting for anything. I think I'm also worried that if I have a year's wait, I will have got myself into such a bad way at work by then too.