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Autism diagnosis wait times hit 300 days

The average wait for an autism diagnosis in England has hit 300 days, according to new NHS data.

That is up 53% from 12 months prior and exceeds the NICE target of 91 days.

The National Autistic Society described such wait times as appalling, warning "autistic people shouldn't miss out on vital support because they haven't got a timely assessment."

A government spokesperson said it had made £4.2m available this year to improve services for autistic children.

Rose Matthews, 63, from County Durham, said receiving an autism diagnosis had been "lifesaving - and I don't say that flippantly".

Before receiving their diagnosis at the age of 59, Rose, who uses "they" and "them" as personal pronouns, said: "My life was unravelling.

"My career was unravelling."

They said their GP had "deeply misguided ideas about what being autistic meant" and brushed them aside.

Joey Nettleton-Burrows, policy and public affairs manager for the National Autistic Society (NAS), said: "We do see lot of misunderstanding from people, and it can include health and social care staff, but I wouldn't say it is common with GPs."

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Source: BBC News, 15 December 2023


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