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(UK) $5.3M to speed up wait times for ASD diagnosis

Dec 15, 2023, BBC News: Autism diagnosis wait times hit 300 days - NHS data https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-67713838.amp

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….

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." …

Campaigners say more money is needed to be spent on recruitment and retention to help cut waiting times

In September 2023, there were 157,809 people in England with an open referral for suspected autism, according to new NHS data.

That is up 50% from 12 months prior.

Of those currently open, 134,315 (85%) had a referral that had been open at least 13 weeks….

In September, NHS Devon apologised after some people were told to expect a five-year wait for an autism assessment.

The latest data has been adjusted slightly from previous releases to make the definition of "open referral" more accurate.

What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - its medical name - is the name for a range of conditions which affect how a person communicates and interacts with the world around them, as well as their interests and behaviour.

It's not a disease or an illness but a condition somebody is born with.

The NHS says if you or your child have signs of autism, the next step is to talk to someone about it - including a GP, health visitor, a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) at school - and they will be able to refer on for assessment.

An assessment is done by autism specialists. It's the only way to find out if you or your child are autistic.

Rose said those waiting for a diagnosis should not "let the fact that you haven't got a diagnosis hold you back from being part of the community of autistic and neurodivergent people"….

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said they knew it was "vital to have a timely diagnosis of autism".

They added: "We've made £4.2m [$5.3M] available this year to improve services for autistic children and young people, and the NHS Long Term Plan will expand and transform mental health services in England with at least an extra £2.3bn [$2.9B]a year by March 2024.

"NHS England has published a national framework and guidance on how people can receive a timely assessment and providing support before and after a diagnosis.

"We expect all integrated care boards and NHS Trusts to follow the clinical guidelines on autism published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence."


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Grandma Denied Custody of Grandchildren Who were Medically Kidnapped in South Carolina (healthimpactnews.com)

"Brenda talked about her grandchild Jack, who has had lots of health problems since he was born.

He couldn’t drink this milk, he had so many different types of formula. The boy has intestinal problems.

She said that he was so constipated that feces was coming out of his feeding tube and his parents would take him to the hospital:

That’s what you are supposed to do, we are not educated enough to know how to clean his intestines out."

Could microbial therapy help wean ASD patients off depressing, limited, and restrictive GFCF diets and eliminate/reduce extreme sensory aversions to nutritious foods such as vegetables? Probiotics Prevent…


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