Diagnosis, Assessment and Support Planning
The Diagnostic, Assessment and Support planning pathway sub group came together as a group of professionals, an autistic adult/parent and a parent/carer to discuss the issues arising around the themed group title. We have so far developed a Diagnostic Pathway for autistic adults, which was circulated to all GP practices in Lancashire by the then subgroup lead, Sue Hird. Problems addressed to date include issues around some GPs who have referred adults via the mental health route, which should not happen; issues around some GPs not understanding the pathway and this is currently being addressed.
An assessment and support planning pathway is being developed in order to assess the needs of adults diagnosed as being autistic in order to provide the necessary and appropriate support for them. One of the issues, we have considered and continue to consider is that an individual’s autism is not necessarily factored in when the initial support needs assessment takes place. A successful assessment also relies on a competent professional with a good awareness of autism. If these two factors are not adequately considered the consequent support planning may have less value.
It is important to note that many autistic individuals also fall within the Learning Disability Sector, where the autistic aspect of their needs may get marginalised and therefore not adequately supported.
We are considering requesting data from the pathway to be analysed in order to make further recommendations to the CCGs and Social Care. We would also like to contact individuals who are either in the process or have been through it in order to have and give an impression of the current situation and be able to affect it.
As a subgroup, we liaise with other subgroups within the board where necessary, for example the Communication and Engagement group (Peer and Mentor offer), as this could aid adults embarking upon the adult pathway to diagnosis and any consequent support planning.
As with many of the issues discussed within themed groups, the work and actions of the APB are continually evolving and reappraised and hopefully this website will aid this by reaching and communicating with a wider audience.