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(UK) Scotland: One to 4 year wait for autism assessments

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Oct 29, 2022, Scottish Daily Express: SNP ministers told to do more as shocking figures show half of child autism assessments taking over a year https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/politics/snp-ministers-told-more-shocking-28353102

SNP ministers have been urged to take urgent action after it emerged almost half of Scots children have had to wait for more than one year for an autism assessment. Figures showed that of 12,500 children in line to be assessed for Autism Spectrum Disorder, 5700 have been waiting over 12 months.

The data, obtained by Freedom of Information requests (FOI) by the Scottish Conservatives, also showed one in five children (2180) had been waiting more than two years. In addition, the figures revealed 240 waited at least four years to be diagnosed.

However, the number of children awaiting assessment is thought to be certainly higher as four of Scotland’s 14 NHS health boards claimed not to have the information on waiting times.

The Scottish Conservatives have called for action to bring down waiting times and help children and parents to get the support they need.

Party MSP for Central Scotland Graham Simpson said: “For families with children waiting to get assessed, these shocking figures will strike a depressingly familiar chord. “These delays are unacceptable. Having to wait a year for diagnosis and support to be put in place could be seriously detrimental to a child with autism – but having to wait more than four doesn’t bear thinking about….

“Sadly, these statistics are no surprise to us, as we frequently hear of children and adults waiting months or even years for assessments. Without a diagnosis and the resulting support, many autistic people and families can really struggle and in some cases experience a crisis….

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf is being urged to do more to help Scots families (Image: PA)

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