Scope community team
Book an appointment with your GP. Make sure your diagnosis is the only thing you are seeing your GP about. If you try to mention it during a consultation about another subject, your GP may not address it fully.
Your GP needs a reason to refer you for diagnosis, so you will have to explain why you think you could be autistic, and how a diagnosis would benefit you. If you think you might want help with this, ask someone you know to come with you.
You could say that you've been reading about autism, or that you've been in touch with The National Autistic Society. You could say that you think you experience some of the difficulties people on the autism spectrum can face, and you would like to seek a formal assessment to be sure. Try to give your GP some examples of difficulties you've had in adulthood and childhood with communication, social interaction, sensory difficulties, friendships or employment, and the need for routine, and how much you think these affect the different areas of your life.
Not all GPs will have an in-depth knowledge of autism, so it's important to explain things as clearly as you can. You could take along a copy of our guidance for GPs, and tell your GP about the relevant guidelines on autism recognition and referral that should guide their decision to make a referral.
In England, your GP should be following NICE guideline 142 and be aware of the statutory guidance requiring a clear diagnosis pathway for adults.
In Northern Ireland, your GP should be following NICE guideline 142 and be aware of the Northern Ireland Autism Strategy and Action Plan.
In Wales, your GP should be following NICE guideline 142 and be aware of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan.
In Scotland, your GP should be following SIGN guideline 145 and be aware of the Scottish Strategy for Autism.
If your GP agrees to refer you, we recommend that you tell them about local services which have experience of multidisciplinary diagnosis of autism in adults. Print out the details of diagnostic services in your area and take them with you.
If it isn't possible to refer you to a multidisciplinary team, you could be referred to an individual professional, such as a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. This professional should be experienced in diagnosing autism, as this will mean you are more likely to be accurately assessed, and will avoid having to go back to your GP to ask for a second referral.
Be aware that it can sometimes be hard to find a service or professional with experience of diagnosing autism in adults.
Once you have been referred, there is no more involvement from your GP.