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‘I cried’: How people with suspected autism are doing their own research due to long waiting lists | UK News

People facing a long wait for diagnosis of suspected autism are suffering increased anxiety and poor mental health – often without any support.

New research has found that three in five individuals on the waiting list still haven’t been assessed after a year – despite the target being 13 weeks.

In fact, only one in 11 are seen in that timeframe.

It’s 18 months since Aimee Drescher went to her GP in London seeking a diagnosis.

“I started talking to a therapist that I had at the time, about maybe getting a diagnosis, and she thought that would be a good idea,” she said.

Aimee says she always felt different – not understanding the way her friends thought, struggling to keep eye contact or being seen as “weird” for obsessing about certain topics – and decided in her late 20s to seek help after speaking to her therapist about it.

“I was given a test to do by the NHS where you had to score a certain score to get even onto the waiting list,” she said.

“I didn’t hear anything at all back so after two weeks, I reached out and they said the waiting list will be 18 to 24 months long… and I haven’t heard anything since.”

Aimee Drescher
Aimee has had to pay for her own therapist

‘I cried reading about autism’

Instead, she began reading about autism.

She said: “I actually cried at some passages, and I underlined a lot because I had never experienced anyone articulating these feelings and thoughts that I had that I couldn’t even articulate myself.”

It’s had an impact on Aimee’s mental health, but she has been fortunate enough to pay for her own therapist.

Brain in Hand, an organisation which provides digital and one-to-one help for those with autism, says 99% of the people it helps get their treatment publicly funded – so there is hope for those seeking support.

But a new survey, carried out by Brain in Hand, revealed that 70% of people with autism have received no support at all – that’s despite 93% saying the state of…

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This notice was published: 2023-12-26 17:00:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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