Now this is a little more tricky folks. Whilst it’s still a job to get our children diagnosed, it is far less likely we will have success locally in obtaining a diagnosis.
For those in Cambridge UK you may be more fortuitous as that is where the Autism Research Centre is based! It is Jelibeans experience that any services that do exist for adults are rare, those that do exist have to be funded personally. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
But for the rest of us adults, it’s far more complex. You see half the battle is finding a specialist. But even when you find one, what are they specialists in? Consultants by enlarge appear to specialise in one particular part of the spectrum, there would appear no one currently expert in ALL areas of the Autism Spectrum. So a diagnosis will depend on who you see. Sadly it is an area we have not fully understood yet so many of us end up with a diagnosis but not particularly accurate!
Jelibean recommend that in the first instance you should visit your GP or family doctor. This should enable a further appointment probably with a local Psychiatrist. Sadly there is no specialist Autism advisor so the Mental Health team are our nearest port of call.
However if that consultant is untrained in Autism, you will be referred again to some one else. Jelibean advise that you research where your nearest specialist centre is and contact them. Asking your GP for out of county referrals is perfectly in order if your Local Authority does not provide a satisfactory service. You may have to wait and there is no guarantee that it will be approved.
The National Autism Society and ADDISS provides a comprehensive list of practitioners and centres. There is also a link on Wrong Planet a specialist forum that will take you to a user recommended list of clinicians both UK and International. Links can be found beneath.
Please remember that even though you may be grown up now! You were a baby/child once. The information that your parents can bring to the appointment will be very valuable. If this is not possible, as much history as you can remember! Autism is a NEURODEVELOPMENTAL condition and as such childhood history is very important! Were you an early talker or delayed? Can you remember? No I bet you can't, these are just some of the questions you will be asked...so be prepared :)
Do let Jelibean know if you know of anyone else that can help so that we may compile a comprehensive list of practitioners in all areas. Please remember that these are as a result of Anecdotal information. Jelibean cannot and does not take any responsibility in your choice! BUT you have rights to have access to service and support so don't give up. We will publish an article with your rights together with the necessary legislation :)
The National Autistic Society
ADDISS (Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service.)
Wrong Planet – list of recommended clinicians
Autism Research Centre – Cambridge
Dr Janine Robinson, Professor Simon Baron Cohen