Autism ACHIEVE Alliance - Autism Spectrum Disorders: Waiting for Assessment
The Autism ACHIEVE Alliance (AAA) is a Scottish Government funded multi-disciplinary collaboration between Queen Margaret University, NHS Lothian, and University of Edinburgh. The Autism ACHIEVE Alliance (AAA) was asked to investigate waiting times in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as per the Scottish Strategy for Autism Recommendation 21: 'It is recommended that an assessment of national waiting lists is undertaken to clarify the extent of delays and that the ASD Reference Group considers and responds to these findings'.
Phase 1: AAA were asked to not only establish the extent of delays, but to find out what is causing them and what can be done to address this at a national level, so that there is a consistent, sustainable approach across Scotland. In addition, this research was designed to be able to contribute information to other Scottish Strategy for Autism recommendations, including Recommendations 22, 23, 24 and 25.
Phase 2: AAA were asked to work with adult service to support them to reduce their waits.
Progress to date:
- AAA have carried out research with 8 child and 8 adult teams. The main problems found with adult diagnosis is that a) the average age of diagnosis for adults is 31.2 years b) many people throughout Scotland who do not have a co-occurring learning disability or a mental health problem, have no access at all to a diagnostic assessment.
- AAA have clarified the causes and extent of delays in the diagnosis of autism, which is linked to Recommendation 21 of the Scottish Strategy for Autism.
- AAA have created a national action plan to address the causes of the delays and how to reduce them, and have worked with adult services to implement this plan.
We are currently looking at how this work can be shared nationally and will share further information on the outputs from this project as soon as we can.
This contributes to goal 3 of the Foundation stage by supporting health services through training and capacity building, thus empowering them to reduce waiting times and facilitate quicker and smoother diagnosis for individuals.
Email: Ali Taylor