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Dr Dina Gazizova

Author: Dr Dina GazizovaConsultant Adult Psychiatrist

If you're wondering whether you might be autistic, you may want to get a formal diagnosis. For many people, this can be a helpful sign of recognition and a long-overdue validation for feeling different. It can provide clarity, belonging, peace of mind and support.

This page explains our procedures and diagnostic methods to provide you with an overview of our autism assessment process. For a more detailed understanding, we suggest you view our autism assessment guide.

View our adult autism assessment guide


Getting answers to questions you might have spent years wondering about can be genuinely life-changing. Whether you receive a diagnosis or not, you’ll always come away with an answer and a clear plan.

Dr Karen Ashwood, Postdoctoral Neurodevelopmental Specialist, Clinical Partners


How do you diagnose autism?

Our autism assessment process brings together the two most trusted, accurate, and widely used diagnostic procedures available: the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2).

These are the diagnostic tools of choice for leading clinicians when professionally assessing autism. Using these measures together enables us to make a diagnosis and produce comprehensive recommendations at the level of detail required for you to make changes that can make a positive impact on your life.

Our Autism assessments are based on UK best practice models - we have developed our assessment package with some of the UK’s leading psychiatrists and they are designed in line with the latest research and meet or exceed government standards including the recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on autism in adults.


Participation of loved ones

Where possible, information about your experiences both in childhood and as an adult is collected from someone who has known you from an early age. This person is referred to as your “informant”, but please do not worry about their involvement - they are here to support you throughout your assessment.

Your informant could be a parent, partner, friend, or companion. Please remember this isn’t about judging you or your behaviour – it’s about helping your clinician understand your developmental history and reach the most accurate and reliable conclusion.

More information about choosing a suitable informant, their role, and how we use the information they provide can be found in our autism assessment guide.


Pre-assessment questionnaires

We ask you to complete several pre-appointment questionnaires. These are widely respected tools used to establish if you are likely to have autism or other co-occurring conditions. They help your clinician to build a more complete picture of your current strengths and difficulties and will be seen and scored before your face-to-face appointments.


A gold standard report recognised by GPs, workplaces and local authorities

After your assessment, you will receive a detailed written report outlining the findings your clinical team has reached. This will include an explanation of whether the findings are consistent (or not) with a diagnosis of autism Your report may help you access local support groups, national charities, other autistic people and your college, university or workplace.

 

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