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(UK) Warwickshire: 'HORRENDOUS' 3 year wait for autism diagnosis for many children in UK

April 1, 2021, BBC News: Autism diagnosis delays in Coventry and Warwickshire 'are horrendous' https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-56590821

South central England Waits of up to three years for children to be diagnosed with autism are "horrendous", and children are being "let down", say parents. Families in Coventry and Warwickshire blame under-funding in the NHS and demand for delays in getting autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessments. One mother, whose daughter has missed years of school and made two attempts on her life, said she felt "forgotten". NHS-run CW Rise said three years was in line with waiting times in England. Amy, from Leamington Spa, who did not want to be identified, said her 15-year-old daughter Emma was still waiting to get a diagnosis after seeing child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in 2018. Emma has since not been at school for nearly three years and had made two attempts on her life, she said…. BBC News reported children and adults could face a wait of more than two years in 2018, when national guidelines said the process of diagnosis should start within three months of being referred. Sally Harwood, who runs an ASD support group in Leamington Spa, said getting a diagnosis was so important for parents and getting a private diagnosis could cost up to £2,000 [$2,800]…. Marie Smith said she was two years into a three-year wait for her eight-year-old son who has "meltdowns" and was violent at home after school. Her son dislikes school "because no-one listened to what he needed when he was younger", she said. "His current school is doing better, but without a proper diagnosis there isn't a lot that they are able to do as they don't get funding for him," she said. She said her case was "far from unique" and many children were being let down. …