Help at hand for adults diagnosed with autism

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A NEW service to diagnose and 
offer support to adults with autism has been launched in Yorkshire.

GP leaders in Sheffield have given funding for the initiative including psychiatry, psychology, specialist nursing, and speech and language therapy.

Social care assessments and support for families, partners and carers will also be available as part of the service.

Hillsborough family doctor Steve Thomas, lead on mental health for NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This new service is going to support people across the board with autistic spectrum conditions – having a formal diagnosis is a fundamental part of the process of developing self-awareness, understanding and
self-management.”

He said that for some people that was enough to help them manage their condition and reduce the likelihood of related illnesses, job loss and family breakdown but others needed further support.

Andy Bragg, assistant service director at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust, which will run the new initiative, said: “The new service will also work with other health and social care teams, employers, and education providers to help ensure the needs of people with autism are understood, enabling them to access mainstream services.”

The service is for people with autism spectrum conditions, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, semantic-pragmatic disorder, which affects the use of language in a social context including knowing what to say and when to say it, and dyspraxia, which is a type of developmental co-ordination disorder.

Anyone wishing to access the service is being urged to visit their GP who can make a referral.

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