How to arrange a private Autistic Spectrum Disorder assessment
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a medical diagnosis and requires an assessment by a psychiatrist. The best route is to ask your GP to refer you to a psychiatrist who assesses ASD, although some private psychiatrists may accept a self-referral.
It is difficult in Plymouth to have an assessment on the NHS. There is an assessment centre in Exeter for those people who fall under Devon NHS but the waiting list can be very long.
It may be that you decide to go privately. Below are contact details of private psychiatrists who assess for ASD. The cost starts at around £300 and you should check this before attending any appointment. If you are a student at the University of Plymouth and have any questions at all, you are welcome to make an appointment with a Disability Advisor. This can be done at the Learning Gateway.
Dr Elin Davies
Venue: Express Diagnostics and Treatment Centre, 6 Research Way, Plymouth Science Park, Derriford, Plymouth PL6 8BU
Tel: 0203 326 9160
Venue: Devonport Road, Plymouth
Psychiatry UK - The National Online Psychiatric Service
Tel: 033 0124 1980
You may find the following resources helpful:
The National Autistic Society (NAS) provides information and advice for autistic people, their friends and families. It also offers support for professionals and employers through training courses, conferences, consultancy and an accreditation programme to help them develop the knowledge they need to work with, and support autistic people. NAS also campaigns for rights and interests of autistic people and their families to try to ensure that national policy and legislation reflects their needs.
Working Well with Autism
Working Well with Autism is a local organisation. The website contains details of what they offer. They also run the Plymouth Autism Hub, which provides a safe, friendly space for adults with autism aged 16 and above to socialise and enjoy activities including table tennis, traditional board games, access to free wifi, free refreshments etc.
Autism Alert Card
The Autism Alert Card is available to people with a diagnosis of autism. It is a very useful card if you find yourself in a difficult situation and need to alert someone, including the emergency services, that they may need to change their approach to you. Some people find that just carrying it in their purse or wallet gives them more confidence when using public transport, going to new places etc even if they seldom use it.
The card is managed by Devon Link Up. For more information please visit their website http://devonlink-up.org/autism-alert-card/
Autism&Uni Best Practice Guides
You may find the following Autism&Uni Best Practice Guides for academics and support staff which contain background information and tips for adapting one's professional practice. These were created as part of the EU-funded Autism&Uni project: http://www.autism-uni.org/bestpractice.