The latest NHS data shows that over 100,000 people are waiting for an autism assessment in England. This is a huge figure and an increase of almost 40% in a year. The Government needs to grip the autism diagnosis crisis and invest in rolling out diagnosis services across the country, as set out in the national autism strategy.
An autism diagnosis is vital to getting the right help and support. But waiting times are still far too long in many parts of the country, with some autistic children and adults waiting many months or even years for a diagnosis. Without this, many will struggle at school, work or home, develop mental health problems like anxiety or depression - and in some cases end up in crisis or even in hospital.
NICE guidance is clear – no-one should wait longer than three months between being referred and first being seen. But this data shows that the vast majority of people (over 80,000 people) are waiting longer than this. It's a complete postcode lottery, which has undoubtedly been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more at: https://www.autism.org.uk/what-we-do/news/autism-assessment-waiting-times