Autism in under 19s: recognition, referral and diagnosis

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Key priorities for implementation

Local pathway for recognition, referral and diagnostic assessment of possible autism

  • A local autism multi-agency strategy group should be set up, with managerial, commissioner and clinical representation from child health and mental health services, education, social care, parent and carer service users, and the voluntary sector

  • The local autism strategy group should appoint a lead professional to be responsible for the local autism pathway for recognition, referral and diagnosis of children and young people. The aims of the group should include:
    • improving early recognition of autism by raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of autism through multi-agency training
    • making sure the relevant professionals (healthcare, social care, education and voluntary sector) are aware of the local autism pathway and how to access diagnostic services
    • supporting the smooth transition to adult services for young people going through the diagnostic pathway
    • ensuring data collection and audit of the pathway takes place

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