Sometimes it is useful for somebody to learn more about his or her condition. You may benefit from learning more about autism as sometimes when people are given a diagnosis they are not made aware of what this means. You can read more autism information on these useful websites.
Seeking a diagnosis of autism
You can make a referral to the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Services (LADS) yourself by calling 01138 550 712 or your GP can make this referral for you. You can learn more about the diagnostic process in Leeds by clicking here. After a referral has been made you will receive a letter with an appointment date and time as well as a questionnaire pack for you to fill in.
Download our diagnosis guidance sheet (Leeds) for more information by clicking here.
If you are seeking a diagnosis of autism or Asperger’s syndrome and you are from Bradford, your first step is to visit and talk to your GP. Your GP will then be able to refer you to a Autism Diagnostic service who will conduct the assessment.
If you are seeking a diagnosis of autism or Asperger’s syndrome and you are from York, your first step is to visit and talk to your GP. They will be able to refer you to the appropriate diagnostic service.
Download our diagnosis guidance sheet (York) for more information by clicking here.
General guidance for seeking a diagnosis
• As autism is a developmental condition it is important that a family member or carer is involved in this process where possible. Signs and symptoms are most obvious between the ages of 4/5 and so having somebody involved that knew you well when you were that age will be helpful.
• GPs can sometimes be reluctant to refer people for a diagnosis so it is best to take as much information and evidence as you can to support your request. There are a number of self-assessment forms and tests online that you can complete – individually these will not be enough for a diagnosis however they will be helpful when speaking to your GP.
• It is also useful to list all the difficulties you are experiencing on a day to day basis, do not be put off and be very firm in your request for a diagnosis.
• If you do receive an autism diagnosis you can also have a Community Care assessment – this is done by Adult Social Care. You are legally entitled to this and you can find out more about Community Care assessments below.
Help in a Crisis & Useful telephone numbers
Leeds adult social care emergency out of office hours – 01132 409 536
Bradford adult social care emergency out of office hours – 01274 431 010
York adult social care emergency out of office hours – 01609 780780
These teams deal with adult safeguarding, mental health and child protection emergencies.
08457 90 90 90
Confidential and non-judgmental emotional support whenever you need someone to talk to. 24 hours, seven days a week.
0845 767 8000
An out-of-hours telephone helpline offering practical information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health issues.
0808 800 1212
For anyone who is in a crisis, feeling anxious, lonely, angry or depressed – or just needs someone to talk to. Callers are offered non-judgmental and empathic support and information about other services. 6-10pm every night of the year.
Dial House (Leeds)
01132 609 328
Dial House is a safe place in times of crisis. If you are feeling desperate or need someone to talk to then Dial House is a safe place to visit when you feel you can’t cope – a sanctuary at times of mental distress. Visitors can use the house as time out from a difficult situation or a home environment where they may feel unsafe or that may exacerbate their difficulties.
Learning Disability Helpline
0808 808 1111
The helpline provides information and advice on learning disability issues to callers including people with learning disabilities, their families and carers, and professionals working in the field.
You can now call 111 when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency. You will be assessed, given advice and directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best. Available 24 hours, seven days a week
You may be eligible for different benefits depending on your circumstances:
Disability Benefits can be paid if your disability means that you have care needs or mobility difficulties regardless of whether you are in work or in education and regardless of how much money you have or who you live with. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been the disability benefit for ‘working age’ people (which means people aged 16-65), but this is gradually being abolished and replaced by Personal independence payment (PIP).
Benefits for people that are not working
Jobseekers Allowance is the benefit for people who are able to work and can prove that they are actively looking for work. There are two types of Jobseekers Allowance. Employment and Support Allowance is the benefit for people who cannot work or who have a limited ability to work due to having a disability or health condition. There are two types of Employment and Support Allowance.
Community care assessments and the care pathway
Once you have received a diagnosis you are eligible to receive a community care assessment. This is completed by Adult Social Care in your area and is sometimes called an Assessment of Need or Care Act Assessment.
You can contact your adult social care duty team on these numbers:
Leeds – 01132 224 401
Bradford – 01274 435400
York – 01904 555 111
When you ring adult social care you will speak to the duty team first. You will need to request an assessment of need (by law anybody is fully entitled to this). While on the phone you need to tell them you have a diagnosis and they will ask for relevant information.
You should take this opportunity to tell them the difficulties you are having on a day-to-day basis, always giving the worst case scenario. It is important to request a social worker that has previous experience or knowledge of autism otherwise there is a chance that your difficulties may not be recognised during the community care assessment.
Once a social worker has been allocated to you they will organise to complete an assessment of need which covers your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing along with finances and your long-term goals. The social worker will come to your home (or a location of your choice) to complete the assessment (sometimes over a number of visits).This assessment will identify any areas where you may need support.
If at all possible please have someone to accompany you on this visit that knows you well. They should be able to help you answer all of the social worker’s questions in a lot of detail.
Once a CCA has been completed, the Social Care team will decide if the individual meets the eligibility criteria, dependent on their level of need. If you are not eligible for care services, you can ask for advice from somewhere like the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The individual may then be given a personal budget to access support services, either in the form of Direct Payments OR the council may pay support services directly. In both cases, the individual may need to make a financial contribution, but this is dependent on income/benefits etc. (i.e. ‘means tested’).
The Social Services will then give you a Care Plan, outlining who will be providing services, when, and what is hoped will be achieved by each service.
Download our CCA guidance sheet (Leeds) for more information by clicking here.
Download our CCA guidance sheet (Bradford) for more information by clicking here.
Download our CCA guidance sheet (York) for more information by clicking here.
Disabled Bus Pass Applications
You may be eligible for a Disabled Bus Pass that entitles you to free or discounted bus travel.
Download our application guidance document by clicking here.
Health – accessing your local hospital
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) can add a flag on to your inpatient electronic notes to alert staff that you have autism. You choose if you want this flag to be attached to your electronic notes. When hospital staff see this alert, it prompts them to ask if you require any reasonable adjustments and if you have a hospital passport that they can look at.
Click the button below to download a handy guide:
Haven’t found the information you were looking for? We can provide more information about the topics above and more so please don’t hesitate to contact us.