Diagnosis and post-diagnostic care

If you’re thinking about getting a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) there are a number of things you may first want to consider. The National Autistic Society has some helpful advice and information on these pages.

See the NHS Choices website advice on diagnosis


The NHS says, “See your GP or health visitor if your child is showing symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or you’re worried about their development.”

“If appropriate, your GP can refer you to a healthcare professional or team who specialise in diagnosing ASD, or someone who has access to such a team.”

For child assessments and appointments in Sheffield see this page: https://www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/services/child-development-and-neurodisability/social-communication-disorders/autism-resources/assessments-and-appointments/

See also How do I get a diagnosis? and the Right from the start toolkit (‘A Guide to Autism in the Early Years’) from the children and young people’s charity Ambitious About Autism.

An important source of new (May 2021) information and help for parents and carers of children with autism and other neurological disorders is now available on the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust website. You can find it here:


The authors say:

We hope that the information on our website can help with strategies, and support you and your family with the difficulties that lots of young people with neurodevelopmental conditions experience. There are a number of pages filled with resources to manage difficulties around sleep, mood, anxiety, sensory issues and going back to school. Additional information and resources are also available on our DCD webpage (DCD is Developmental Coordination Disorder / Dyspraxia).”

There is also a child autism Mythbuster, developed in conjunction with various partners including the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum:




(See also our FAQs on Adult Diagnosis)

See the pages on diagnosis for adults on the NHS Choices website
In Sheffield diagnosis for adults and young persons (16+) is provided through the Sheffield Adult Autism and Neurodevelopmental Service (SAANS).

First talk it over with your GP. It is your GP who can refer you to the SAANS service for an assessment and a diagnosis, with the opportunity for follow-up specialist help.

This below is what the SAANS website says about their service, (but note that waiting times are long, both for initial assessment and for post-diagnostic services such as one-to-one psychological therapies, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy):

“The Sheffield Adult Autism and Neurodevelopmental Service (SAANS)

Provides assessment, diagnosis and multi-disciplinary interventions for people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (including disorders formerly known as Aspergers Syndrome) and associated neurodevelopmental disorders including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The service is provided by a multidisciplinary team that comprises – psychiatry, clinical psychology, specialist nurse, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and social worker – to provide additional support for people with ASC.

The service is delivered by Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, and more details can be found here.

The service is based at Lyndhurst Road, Sheffield S11 9BF .

Operating hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

How is the service accessed?
Referrals are accepted from both primary care (that means through your GP) and secondary (hospital or specialist) care teams. Self referrals are not accepted.

SAANS is able to take referrals for people over the age of 16 both from Sheffield and from other areas. Services for individuals who live outside of Sheffield are provided subject to funding from the relevant local Clinical Commissioning Group.”

Michael Carlisle Centre
S11 9BF Sheffield

Tel: (0114) 2716964