I am currently having no luck with the nhs autism diagnosis system. I am looking into paying to have a private one done.
Has anyone had this private? What are good orgainsations/ people to contact? Price range?
I investigated the option of going private and was quoted £2000 (or £2500 with psychiatric input) before approaching my GP. When I told him he was a little surprised but still expected it to cost around £1000. Currently, I have been referred and about to, hopefully, go on the waiting list for the assessment through the NHS.
mine was £800. My local area has a specific AS diagnosis service that you can self refer to
I have just been through a private referral (haven't had results yet). It has cost me £1650 in total. This was made up of £150 for an initial assessment which was a 90 minute meeting where I talked to a psychologist and completed an autism quotient questionnaire. I had also completed some questionnaires and sent these back prior to my appointment. After the initial assessment I had a letter summarising what we had discussed and recommending that due to my score on the AQ and the answers I had given I should have a full assessment. The full assessment cost £1500 and has consisted of a cognitive assessment, completion of a sensory profile, an ADIR interview with my Mum and an ADOS assessment for me. Each assessment/interview has been completed by a different professional (all extremely nice) and now they will all meet together to discuss what their findings and make a decision about whether to give me a diagnosis. They then provide a feedback meeting where they will give us the results and also discuss the support I might need going forward. Even if I don't get a diagnosis they will discuss my specific difficulties and offer support for moving forward. This meeting has been arranged for the end of this month.
From when I first contacted the clinic in April to book my initial appointment, the whole process will have taken 4 1/2 months. This could have been quicker but I delayed some of the appointments until the summer holiday (I am a teacher) so I didn't need time off work but then I needed to arrange them around the dates when I was away and when some of the psychologists were on annual leave.
I have been really pleased with how thorough the whole process has been. Which ever way it goes I feel confident that the result will be accurate. The appointments haven't been time limited at all, we have been given a general idea of how long each one will last but most have run over that. We definitely feel we have been listened to. Having the appointments in different weeks has extended the time it has taken and meant more travelling for me (an hour each way) but it has also given me time to think and reflect between each appointment and they have always welcomed any additional information I've brought to them.
The clinic I used is called The Family Psychologist and they are in Kidderminster. They seem very knowledgeable about how autism presents in women which is what I needed. They also take NHS referrals so I feel that I have been through a proper diagnostic procedure.
Just spent about 1000 on a private assessment for my daughter. NHS recognised, all completed in about 7 weeks. We are Hampshire and would be waiting another year before any communication from NHS waiting list. My daughter needed hers to get correct support at uni, so it was worth the expense in our opinion
This forum is supportive and full of knowledgeable people, so I am sure you will get other responses.
You could try to search the forum (search tool at the top of page) for posts about ‘obtaining a formal diagnosis’ or ‘adult diagnosis of ASD’.
In the meantime, you might find the following links useful:
NAS All About Diagnosis: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis.aspx
Furthermore, it is important the professional you see has experience of autism spectrum disorders. You can find details of diagnostic services on our Autism Services Directory in the Assessment and diagnosis section: http://www.autism.org.uk/directory.aspx
You may like to have a look at the following page which includes personal accounts, which may help: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/adult-life/stories.aspx
It might also be useful to pass on information about autism to health professionals when seeking a diagnosis. The following page includes information for a range of health professionals: http://www.autism.org.uk/Working-with/Health.aspx
If you have further questions, you may like to contact our Autism Helpline team. They can provide you with information and advice about getting a diagnosis. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.
The NHS also has some pages about Autism Diagnosis for Adults: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Autism/Pages/Diagnosisinadults.aspx
The Royal College of General Practitioners' autism page: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/ASD
And ASD Toolkit: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/resources/toolkits/asd-toolkit.aspx
Hope this helps,
In my case I was suffering at work, and the GP told me there was no way I would get a diagnosis and that even if I could it would take in excess of two years.
I looked for a local psychologist on the NAS website who did autism diagnosis, and contacted him. In all it took about six weeks to get the diagnosis, it could have been less. I was sent a list of 'prompt' questions to help me write a 'potted history', if this had not indicated autism was a strong possibility I was told that the process would stop and I would be only charged about a third of the cost. I then had my 'interview' (for want of a better word), and autism was confirmed. I don't think the psychologist had too much difficulty in confirming the diagnosis!
It was a mixture of relief and trying to come to terms with the diagnosis. It was a relief to know that I finally could say with certainty what had caused so many problems. Coming to terms with the diagnosis was a little more difficult, probably the other side of the coin, in that I kept wondering what might have been - probably pointless as we cannot change the past however much we want to. It opened doors to help, to getting adjustments at work and was money well spent. And don't believe the stories you may here about a private diagnosis not being accepted. Providing it is done by a psychologist/psychiatrist competent and qualified to do the diagnosis there is no problem whatsover. However, if the diagnosis is done by the next door neighbour who knows someone who has an autistic friend, and has no qualification ... well it would be surprising if the diagnosis was acceptable! The psychologist I used regularly diagnosed for the NHS, and I would imagine this is the case with most private assessors.
You have your reasons for believing that you are most probably autistic. These are important things to bring up to your assessor. Things like social contact, overloading of sensory stimuli, how you cope with change, communication misunderstandings, delayed comprehension, literal understanding are all important to mention with examples you can think of. And on initial contact with my psychologist he indicated he would endeavour to get to the bottom of any problems I had if autism was not diagnosed and suggest what the problem might be.
The cost was around seven hundred pounds all in, and the saving of time was well worth the expense. (it would have been about two hundred pounds if my original 'history' essay had led him to believe that autism was not indicated) I am convinced I would not have a job if I had not been diagnosed - I had been sent to occupational health who refused to countenance any problems at all and that there was no reason at all for any adjustments at work. This changed entirely on my diagnosis.