Figures collected by The Observer highlight the extent of delays young people are facing when trying to get assessed for autism. The Guardian reports that 2,835 referrals for assessment in Coventry and Warwickshire have still not resulted in an appointment, on average 88 weeks after the initial referral. The longest wait was up to 251 weeks – nearly five years.
This is a consistent barrier for neurodivergent children across the country. In Berkshire 2,443 children waited on average 87 weeks for an ADHD assessment, with the longest wait being 193 weeks – nearly four years.
Bethany Bale, Policy and Campaigns Officer at DR UK, said: “It’s crucial that neurodivergent children are able to access a diagnosis and support as early as possible. Between the delays of assessments, and then the delays of getting an EHCP in place, these children will be leaving school before they’ve been able to access any of the support they require.”