Information for individuals

Useful resources related to autism

Seeking a diagnosis


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.


Your first step is to visit and talk to your GP, who can refer you to a Autism Diagnostic service that will conduct the assessment.


Visit and talk to your GP, who can refer you to an appropriate diagnostic service.

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 need to understand why you need to be referred for a diagnosis, so 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 useful to take a list all the difficulties you are experiencing on a day to day basis which may relate to autism, do not be put off if the GP is reluctant 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, find out more information about this below.

Assessment of need
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.

What to do next

You (or someone on your behalf) need to telephone adult social care, you will then speak to the duty team. Ask for an assessment of need. Tell them you have a diagnosis of autism and why you feel you need help and support, they will ask you questions to find out the information they need.

You should tell them about the difficulties you are having because of your autism. They may ask you about any help or support you are already receiving from family or friends. If you are not receiving any help or if they are having their own difficulties, it is important that you tell them this too. 

The Care Act states that the social worker appointed to you should have knowledge and experience of autism. This is to ensure that they are best able to assess your needs. You can ask for a social worker with this experience.

The assessment

A social worker will contact you to complete an assessment of need (this is a big form). If you do not want to do this over the telephone you can arrange an appointment for them to visit you. 

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. 

Before the meeting it may be helpful to talk to someone you know and trust and make a list of the things you are finding difficult to help you remember. It is a good idea for this person to be with you when the social worker visits as they can help you to answer the questions.

The social worker will ask about your strengths (things you are good at) your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, your long-term goals and what you would like to do, and any support or help you are already receiving. 

What happens next?

Once an assessment has been completed, the Social Care team will decide if you meet the eligibility criteria, dependent on your level of need.

They may signpost you to free services, or groups that are already available in the local community. If you feel that you would not be able to access these groups you need to tell them. They may also decide that you would benefit from services such as Specialist Autism Services, and they may pay for this service. They may decide that you need a combination of these types of support. 

There are different ways that the council may pay for services, you may be given a personal budget to pay for support services, this could be in the form of Direct Payments or an Individual Service Fund or the council may pay the support services directly. In all of these cases, you may need to make a financial contribution, this is dependent on your income or benefits you receive. They will carry out a financial assessment. It is important that you mention all the additional expenses you have to pay due to the impact of your autism and any sensory differences you may have.

Your social worker will then give you a Care Plan, outlining who will be providing services, when, and what those services are expected to provide for you.

Contact your local
Adult Social Care


01132 224 401


01274 435400


01904 555 111


01422 393000


You may be eligible for different benefits depending on your circumstances.

Disability benefits

These 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. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have long term ill-health or disability. For example, this money could  be used to pay a financial contribution towards the support or services you receive to enable you to have a better quality of life.

Benefits for people that are unemployed

Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for people who are able to work and can prove that they are actively looking for work. 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. 


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 have any reasonable adjustments and if you have a hospital passport that they can look at. 

Useful numbers

Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90

Confidential and non-judgmental emotional support whenever you need someone to talk to, 24/7 helpline.

Saneline - 0845 767 8000

An out-of-hours telephone helpline offering practical information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health issues.

Connect Helpline - 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 cannot cope - a sanctuary at a time 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

This 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.

NHS - 111

Individuals can now call 111 when medical help is needed urgently, but its not a 999 emergency. You will be assessed, given advice and directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best. Available 24/7.

Need more information?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require more information, or if you have any useful information that could be added.