NICE – Assessment and diagnosis of autism: what to expect

More than 1 in 100 people are autistic. This affects people in different ways. It can bring strengths but also some challenges that can impact on how comfortable, healthy and happy you feel. Getting the right diagnosis and support is important.

This guide is for young people, who are of secondary school age, and their families or adults with parental responsibility.

Why have I been offered an assessment for autism?

You might be offered an assessment if you or people in your life think that you may have some
of the signs of autism. These signs may include:

  • finding it difficult talking to and being with other people
  • having unusual or intense interests
  • finding some situations and experiences difficult to cope with
  • sometimes finding noise, touch, taste and texture, lights or smells difficult to deal with
  • strongly preferring your usual routine
  • developing more easily in some areas than others.

Having an assessment means you can talk about these things and find out possible reasons for them.

You may want to discuss what you find difficult more informally with someone before having an assessment, to help you decide if now is the right time for you.

You may also find it helpful to talk about this with your school, doctor or social worker, if you have one.


NICE – October 2019