(UK) York children wait up to 2 yrs for autism diagnosis; 'overstretched services'

Jan 19, 2019,York Press: Concern as children in York face long waits for autism diagnosis CHILDREN with suspected autism are facing lengthy waits to be diagnosed in York - with one mum telling how her daughter has been on a waiting list for almost two years. Nearly 400 people have signed an online petition calling for an urgent review of autistic services in York, stating that "parents feel isolated and helpless and most importantly those needing support don't receive the help they so desperately need." Concerns about waiting times in York have been raised as an NHS report has warned families with children aged five to 18 are on long waiting lists, causing 'strain and anxiety for families' as many can't get the specialist support they need in school and other settings. … She said she believes three of her children are on the autistic spectrum but only one, her nine-year-old son Jamie, has been formally diagnosed as having severe autism. This has meant he is currently thriving at the specialist Haxby Road Enhanced Resource Provision. But her two daughters remain on lengthy waiting lists to see a specialist, with Beth, 16, waiting almost two years for a formal diagnosis for her suspected Asperger syndrome, and unsure whether she can apply for university, as a lack of formal diagnosis means she won't get the support she needs. Meanwhile Millie, 14, is being educated at home and without a formal diagnosis for Asperger syndrome she cannot receive the necessary support at school, Becky said…. In November there were about 195 children and young people in York who had already had an initial assessment awaiting a full assessment, Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said. … Tim Nicholls, head of policy at the National Autistic Society, said: “Far too many autistic people have to wait many months, sometimes even years for a diagnosis and support, just because of the poor or overstretched services where they live. …"