- 25 Aug 2022
Quite easy, yes - if you pay for it - which is, of course, what we do already with the Health Service.
- 04 Mar 2022
Lockdown has affected far more children than before. This is putting huge pressure on all mental health services. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-60197150) "There has been a 77% rise in the number of children needing specialist treatment for severe mental health crisis".
As a family with a child struggling with mental health problems we have experienced this personally. We have been told CAMHs won't be able to see up for at least 12 months, probably longer. We have booked in for a private Autism assessment in 10 months time. Other private psychiatrists we have approached have similar or longer waiting lists.
If you think your child might need an assessment, if you can afford to go privately which isn't cheap, book it in now. (Some Health insurance might cover this?) If you can't get a private assessment, you need to get as much support from the professionals around your child as you can. Ask your GP for help, SENCO at school, Head teacher etc, apparently this support can help bump you up the CAMHs list.
While you wait for an appointment gather all the information you can. Autism diagnostic criteria https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/diagnosis/diagnostic-criteria/all-audiences
- 02 Dec 2021
Can't answer yes or no.:
It really does depend. I went through my GP and after the paediatrician referred her, three years later, we are still on the NHS waiting list for my daughter to be assessed. I went privately in the end with a professional who also assesses for the NHS so it would be accepted by the NHS paediatrician.
- 19 Oct 2021
Can't answer yes or no.:
Unfortunately, joint Ofsted and CQC inspections suggest that it depends on where you live (CQC stands for Care Quality Commission - this is like Ofsted for health services).
In lots of the joint inspections, inspectors have ordered improvement plans. Often these plans are required to include ways to improve the assessment process for autism. Tackling long waiting times is an especially common theme.
However, remember that bad news travels - so you are more likely to have heard of when people have had a bad experience. Don't let this put you off. Remember, there are lots of times when things go through really smoothly - but this gets discussed a lot less.
How do I get an assessment for autism?
Go see your GP, or discuss it with your health visitor (for pre-school children) or SENDCo (if they’re at nursery or school already).
The difficulties being assessed should be the same wherever you are, but each area has its own journey to the assessment. These are sometimes referred to as Pathways or the MDA waiting list (MDA stands for Multi-disciplinary Assessment which simply means that there's people from jobs in health who work together to decide on an assessment or not).
Because different counties, cities and towns have different pathways, your local GP, Health Visitor or SENDCo are the best people to speak to first - they should be able to talk about how things work locally.
Before going to your GP, take a look at the NHS website for a quick list of do and don't: www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/getting-diagnosed/how-to-get-diagnosed