I am in the midst of the diagnosis process. I have given up waiting for the NHS - I am now into the second year of waiting - so Have gone private. The company I have chosen employs psychiatrists who are expert in all kinds of mental health issues including bipolar, depression, self harm, personality disorders etc etc  and also ADHD and ASD. 

Please can someone tell me why I need to see psychiatrist for an ASD diagnosis when surely ASD (and ADHD) are neuro developmental disorders not mental health disorders?

  • Hi Lelly, I don't think you t really need to see a Psychiatrist, my Doctor referred me for a diagnosis which was confirmed last year & I  certainly didn't need to see one.

    I think like most things in the NHS nowadays, it depends on your location & how proactive your Doctor is. I live in Manchester & my Doctor referred me to an organisation called 'LancUK' (NB. The Lanc isn't short for Lancashire), who made the diagnosis over two appointments spaced several months apart, with a third appointment to discuss the final written report. Whilst the people I saw were excellent, the administration of 'LancUK' seemed incredibly slow, so the whole process took about a year & several phone call reminders.

    The 'LancUK' organisation works across the whole country & have a half-decent website, so it might be worth mentioning it to your Doctor. Depending on your symptoms, they might only require one consultation for the diagnosis, but since I wasn't diagnosed until age 56, mine was slightly more complicated.

    I still haven't ever seen a Psychiatrist though, since in my area they seem to be in short supply & apparently cost too much. Hardly anyone gets to see one unless they are so ill that they end up in Hospital.

    Hope this helps

  • That's a very good question.

    I think NHS commissioners are now realising they can cut waiting times for diagnosis by getting psychologists and allied health professionals (who command much more modest salaries than psychiatrists) to do autism diagnoses so long as they are fully trained in ADOS-2. A neurologist might be more appropriate in some cases. Many psychiatrists have unhelpful preconceptions about autism and little relevant training - rather shown in this other thread today. That presumably won't be the case for the specialist you see. My diagnosis on the NHS involved a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a social worker, and took about a year. I do think you need at least two opinions to confirm a diagnosis.

    Good luck, anyway.