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2022 Autism Assessment waiting times - according to the National Autistic Society website.

Over 140,000 face waits for autism assessment

140,000 people were waiting for an autism assessment in England in December 2022, new NHS data has revealed. This is a 40% increase in the number of people waiting in just one year. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance states that no-one should wait longer than three months between being referred and first being seen. But this data shows that the vast majority of people 86% (121,000 people) have been waiting longer than 13 weeks. This is unacceptable.

The NAS is calling on the Government to urgently address the growing autism diagnosis crisis and to immediately invest in rolling out diagnosis services.

An autism diagnosis is vital to getting the right help and support. Without a diagnosis many struggle at school, work or home, develop mental health problems like anxiety or depression - and in some cases end up in crisis or even in hospital. Currently, it’s a postcode lottery and delays have been made worse by the pandemic with the amount of people waiting for an autism assessment growing by 169% from the pre-pandemic level (Feb 2020) of 52,000.

The National Autistic Society continues to hold the Government to account to the commitments they made in the National Autism Strategy and we engage with Ministers, Government officials and Parliamentarians to this end.

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