The Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service (LADS) provides assessment and diagnosis of people of all intellectual ability who may have autism and live in Leeds. The care pathway is shown below. A follow up appointment is only offered to those who receive a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Between 2011 and 2016 we have been referred 1000 people, of these 32% have received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This diagnosis rate is the same for males and females.
The current team consists of:
Clinical lead, consultant learning disability psychiatrist with extensive experience in autism – four days per week
Consultant general adult psychiatrist – one day per week
Speciality doctor – two and a half days per week
Clinical psychologist – one day per week
Clinical team manager / senior autism nurse – full time
Autism nurse – full time
Two service support secretaries – one full time and one part-time.
The team are happy to receive referrals for all adults over the age of 18 years regardless of their IQ. This includes people who also have a learning disability or other developmental conditions. Service users, carers and professionals can make referrals by contacting our Trust’s Single Point of Access on 0300 300 1485.
Please note that autism is a developmental condition and the signs and symptoms are most obvious at the age of four to five years. Therefore, if information from a family member is not available, it may not be possible to reach a conclusion. If school reports, speech and language reports or medical reports from childhood are available this can assist in the process.
For those people already diagnosed with autism, the team can currently offer a one-off consultancy appointment for service users, their carers’ and other professionals. The service user will receive some questionnaires to complete prior to the appointment and a copy of their diagnostic report will be requested. If there is any doubt about the diagnosis the service user will be offered the opportunity to access the clinical pathway for a full assessment.
In March 2015 the service received non-recurrent funding for one year to provide autism training to professionals. The team currently offers training to NHS staff including GPs, social services staff, staff working for voluntary and private providers. All other requests for training will be considered. When appropriate, service users are asked to assist us with training other professionals.
We are always pleased to receive feedback about our service. We encourage service users and their carers to complete the Friends and Family Test questionnaire. We are currently supporting students from Leeds University to complete a clinical audit of our service and their questionnaires can be found on the table outside the clinic room. If there are any concerns these can be addressed with a member of the team or by contacting PALS. The Trust also has a complaints procedure and we are happy to provide details of this.
More information on autism can be found by visiting the sites below: