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.

  • put in for referral myself a week ago.

    4-6 week wait for initial consultation and formal diagnosis may take months after that.

    Wouldn't go private even if it speeds stuff up. Diagnosis for me is just to rubber-stamp what I probably know already.

  • My company paid for my private consultation. My job was at risk due to performance issues and the company suspected that I was Autistic ... so, luckily for me - they forked out. I was given a diagnosis on-the-spot with no messin'. Hope this helps :-)

  • Hi,

    I'm now 52 and approached my GP for a diagnosis 13 months ago. Staffordshire does not have an adult diagnostic service so I was referred to one in an adjoining county. I had to wait 7 months before seeing the psychiatrist who would assess me. The process they use is 3x one hour interviews. The first was last May then a huge wait for the other two in Sept. I thought I would be given the results at the end of the 3rd session but alas I was told this was just the information gathering phase and he would have to go off and analise the results. He said this would take 4 - 6 weeks however it is now 9 1/2 weeks and I'm still waiting... which I am finding very stressful!

    I dont know if there is any link up with NHS services in Sheffiled but Sheffield University do quite a bit of autism research and have a youtube channel with several interesting videos of talks by people on the spectrum and professionals...


    Hope thats of some help?

  • The following blog posts describe an assessment in Sheffield. I work in the city and have been told the waiting list is almost a year. The person in the blog post asked to be put on a short notice cancellations waiting list and was seen in about three months if my memory is correct


  • I don’t live in Sheffield I’m afraid but here in Norwich its very long. My GP referred me in March (2017) I got an AQ 50, an EQ 50, and a relatives questionnaire through the post in May, I filled them in and returned them the next day. I then got a letter in July saying the the results of the questionnaires show that a full diagnostic assessment would be helpful, and I have gone on the waiting list. It then went on to say that I could be waiting up to 18months for an appointment! That takes it to the end of 2018, which means the total timescale is Round 2 years here. (The letter did also say though that if I was having financial or emplyment difficulties then to let them know and they’d try to bring it forward) Personally I think this is unnacceptable

  • 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.