About the service
The adult autism service (the term refers to autism spectrum disorders encompassing autism, asperger’s syndrome and atypical autism) offers diagnostic assessment and/or specialist interventions for people who are 18 years or above and do not have an intellectual disability.
Our office base is Manygates Clinic in Wakefield, however, we use a number of community bases in Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Halifax and Barnsley.
Service users have access to a multi-disciplinary team which includes medical, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy practitioners. Specialist social work support is also available from the team or from our local authority partners, depending on the area of residence.
The team has established strong links with local service user support networks and agencies. These positive relationships enable us signpost or refer individuals to other appropriate local community services.
Information for service users and carers
- What is autism?
- Autism pathway for adults: support for carers
- Pre-assessment information (questionnaire)
- Adults with Autism SU feedback June
Service user feedback
Service user and carer feedback is very important to us. All feedback is welcomed and help us to improve our service.
For example, following feedback from one service user about harsh lighting in a clinic space, we replaced light fittings and fitted dimmer switches. Similarly, feedback about the benefits of ‘providing a judgement free environment to open up about a lifetime of challenges’ has been shared with clinicians.
Why would someone choose the service?
The adult autism service is a specialist service dedicated to supporting people who are seeking a new diagnostic assessment. We offer a comprehensive specialist diagnostic assessment that includes a full medical and social history and uses validated diagnostic instruments as recommended by NICE.
Our pathway is compliant with the NHS England guidance for Integrated Care Boards issued in April 2023 and so the decision for the diagnosis is made using a multiple disciplinary team approach: NHS England » National framework and operational guidance for autism assessment services
Our team consists of a number of experts in autism who are able to provide the best available care in an accessible, friendly and approachable manner. Given the broad range of healthcare professionals in the team we are able to offer post diagnostic support and if needed bespoke, person-centred interventions for people who receive a diagnosis from us. Interventions can be delivered on an individual or group basis.
Staff you may meet
- There are more than 60 different specialities that doctors work within the NHS. Each is unique but there are many characteristics which are common. Roles range from working in a hospital to being based in the community as a GP.
- Nurses who choose to specialise in the mental health branch of nursing work with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others, to help care for patients. Increasingly, care is given in the community, with mental health nurses visiting patients and their families at home, in residential centres, in prisons or in specialist clinics or units.
- Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.
- Adult psychotherapists work with people to assess and treat a range of emotional, social or mental health issues. They help people tackle problems such as behavioural issues, common challenges such as anxiety and depression or more complex or severe issues, such as psychosis or a personality disorder diagnosis.
- Receptionists are the first link for many patients and visitors. They often work on their own or with one or two other receptionists, greeting patients as they arrive and check them in. They might also collect patient notes and ensure that these vital records go to the right healthcare professional. In a clinic, they may make appointments and arrange patient transport.
- Social workers help, support and protect people who are facing difficulties in their lives. They help people to take positive steps to overcome problems and improve their lives. This could involve assessing and reviewing a service user’s situation, building relationships with service users and their families and agreeing what practical support someone needs.
Following a confirmation of diagnosis from our autism team, we are able to provide specialist support and interventions, such as:
- Information and education around autism
- Up to two sessions of post diagnostic support
- Up to eight sessions of bespoke, person-centred interventions
- Signposting for carer assessments, information and support
What can be provided will depend on what your NHS commissioner is able to fund for you.
Autism services throughout the UK have seen a steady increase in demand over recent years.
However, in line with recommendations in the NHSE guidance, this service has a robust screening and triage process which is efficient and effective at identifying people who meet the required criteria and will potentially benefit from an autism assessment. This means the increased demand has not had such an impact on waiting times and people can start the assessment process within six weeks.
Through the support we offer, we aim to support individuals with autism, their family or carers, as well as educate other healthcare professionals about the condition.
For individuals with autism spectrum conditions we aim to:
- Improve psychosocial functioning
- Increase mental wellbeing
- Increase social inclusion and community participation
- Increase independence
- Prevent or reduce the need for crisis responses
- Prevent or reduce in contact with the criminal justice system
- Improve educational engagement
- Improve access to employment
For families and carers, we aim to:
- Support them in their caring role
- Increase awareness and understanding of autism
- Improve their health and wellbeing
- Increase their ability to sustain appropriate support for their loved one
For health and social care professionals we aim to:
- Increase awareness and understanding of autism
- Increase the ability to provide appropriate support for an individual with autism
- Support them in their professional role
Referrals accepted from:
Consultants, GPs, Other Trust services
Our Service is for adults who are 18 or above, who do not have a learning disability.
Adults with a learning disability can receive support from specialist learning disability services.
Referrals can be made directly to the service or via the Trust’s single point of access team using the form below:
Autism referral form.
Referrals also accepted from social workers for our social care pathway and adult mental health services.
What to expect when we receive your referral
Each referral is screened and triaged by senior clinicians who are specialists in autism to identify those people who are eligible for the service and will benefit from an autism assessment. This ensures that the people in greatest need are seen quickly and are more likely to be able to access appropriate support.
If your referral does not meet the required criteria, we will write to your referrer to let them know giving and explanation for our decision and may signpost to other services or agencies if appropriate.
If your referral does meet the criteria, you will be sent a pack with questions for you to answer and send back to us. When we receive the pack back from you, we will be able to offer you a first appointment. This is usually a face to face appointment in one of our clinics closest to your home and helps us to gather more information.
We might tell you that you do not have autism after this first assessment or we might ask you to attend appointments for further assessment.
When the assessment process is complete, we will advise you of the outcome. If you do not have autism, we will explain why and advise you of next steps. If you do have autism, we will advise you of the support we can offer to you if you want it.
Please note that commissioning arrangements are different in Calderdale, this means that all referrals autism are added to a waiting list and there will be a wait for assessment.