Autism Diagnosis delays are across the media once again
Autism Diagnosis delays are across the media once again. I have campaigned for many years on autism diagnosis, promises made however, very little action.
Anna Kennedy OBE Founder of autism services and her National Autism Charity was flooded with message across social media about wait times for an assessment for an autism diagnosis for their children.
Parents are complaining of waiting between two and five years for a diagnosis for their child, and it is very much a “postcode lottery”,
Recently Anna read an article that in central London families were waiting over a year for just for a referral diagnosis, despite waiting time guidelines of three months. Anna share’s the Government has yet to complete past Health Secretaries vow to look at starting to officially record the figures.
Anna was told that their were complex reasons for the delays, including increased demand for the assessment which had increased “significantly” in the last few years due to wider awareness about autism.
More families may believe their children are on the spectrum due to charities like ours that are forging ahead to raise awareness and acceptance.
Anna shares the access to special needs services, which includes an educational psychologist’s report and a limited amount of free speech and language therapy on the NHS, appeared to be a “post code lottery.”
Not all local authorities, health or education services provided equally strong support according to the parents she spoke to. Waiting a long time for a diagnosis meant a window for early intervention could be missed..
It has an impact on the child, it has an impact on the school, which doesn’t know what they are dealing with. It has an impact on the siblings, and obviously the family.” While some parents Anna has spoken to did avoid seeking a “label”, others told Anna of being dismissed.
This has got to change, we cannot go on like this.
Anna Kennedy OBE