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Autism Diagnosis in Oxfordshire

Please DO NOT send diagnostic referrals or enquiries to autism oxford.

Autism assessments for adults with an Oxfordshire GP are now being undertaken by Autism at Kingwood.
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

See for details of the new Oxfordshire Adult Autism Diagnostic Service (OAADS) provided by Autism at Kingwood.

Please note that the information on this page is about the service for Adults in Oxfordshire only. Autism Diagnostic Assessments for Children in Oxfordshire are usually undertaken by Community Paediatrics or CAMHS.  Please ask your GP for more information.

Oxfordshire Adult Autism Diagnosis

In 2011, Autism Oxford was very pleased to be instrumental in the development of Oxfordshire’s first ever pathway for Adult Autism Diagnostic Assessments. It has been an overwhelmingly popular service; evidence of the great need for it, and also for post diagnostic support. Referrals and enquiries arrive every day.

With regret, we gave notice to OCCG that we would no longer be able to offer this service after the end of January 2018. The new arrangements are outlined below.

Urgent update to process outlined below – May 2018

We have been informed that the option of face-to-face diagnostic assessment with AWP is currently unavailable.

Enquiries to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Complaints to Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Please see here for Information for GPs

A new Oxfordshire Autism Services for Adults Contract is being commissioned by OCCG (Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group). The new service will provide diagnostic assessments and post-diagnostic support for adults with an Oxfordshire GP.  The new service will begin by 1st July 2018.

Between February 2018 and July, an interim arrangement is in place for the Adult Autism Diagnostic Referral Service.  It is being provided by Autism at Kingwood. For details of the interim service and contact details for Autism at Kingwood, please see below…

For general information about these arrangements, please contact the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group at Jubilee House, 5510 John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park South, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2LH

What is autism?

Autism is a neurological condition affecting the physical form of the brain, and the way it operates or functions. This causes differences in the way a person thinks, perceives and understands the world and other people.

‘Autism Spectrum Condition’ (ASC) is used to describe the range of the autism spectrum, including Asperger’s syndrome. In a survey by the National Autistic Society, the majority of people on the autism spectrum preferred the term ‘autistic person’ rather than ‘person with autism’.

Autistic people of all ages experience difficulties or differences in communication, social interaction, thinking, decision making and in sensitivity of the 7 senses. The way autism impacts on each individual is unique.  No two people are affected in exactly the same way.

Autistic people usually share a number of life experiences, such as:

  • finding social situations difficult to deal with and understand
  • lacking a ‘social instinct’, making it necessary to study and learn the social rules that non-autistic people seem to ‘just know’
  • being misunderstood by others
  • having in-depth knowledge about and/or extensive collection of one or more special interest(s), which can lead to specialist careers
  • difficulty with interpreting what other people mean or intend
  • being very good at noticing details, but perhaps not recognising the context in which the details fit together (sometimes called ‘the bigger picture’)
  • difficulty in dealing with changes, small or large, especially when they are unexpected and not planned for
  • finding it distressing when familiar routines cannot be followed
  • extraordinarily high levels of anxiety and fear, especially about social situations
  • hyper or hypo sensitivity to sight, hearing, smell, physical bodily feelings (including pain) , taste, balance, and proprioception
  • a tendency to be very honest, sometimes with a lack of social niceties
  • a feeling of being different from most other people, but perhaps not knowing why

Some people find that autism does not have a big impact on their lives.  They may decide they do not need a diagnostic assessment.

For others it can mean life is extremely difficult.  Some people want to find out whether or not they are autistic, and hope a diagnosis may lead to getting information and support to help with some of life’s challenges.

Eligibility for Oxfordshire Adult Autism Diagnostic Referral Service

Adults registered with an Oxfordshire GP, can request a referral for an autism diagnostic assessment using the process below.

People registered with a GP outside of Oxfordshire should contact their GP to find out about assessments in their area.

The Oxfordshire assessment service is NOT open to adults who are under the care of:

  • an adult mental health team (AMHT) or
  • a community learning disability team (CLDT).

In these cases, please contact the AMHT or CLDT for advice on autism diagnostic assessments.

Referral – the Process

Referral for an autism diagnostic assessment should be through your GP.  Please follow these steps:

  1. Download and print the Autism Diagnostic Referral Service Client Information form.  Complete the form as best you can – you may want to ask a family member, friend or supporter to help.

    You can request a printed copy of the Client Information form to be sent to you – please contact:
    Tel: 07554337980 or Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Communicating via Email – if you wish to communicate via email, please read and complete this Email Security Consent Form and send it to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  2. Download, print and complete the Choice of Diagnostic Service form.  If you do not know which service to choose, you can discuss this with your GP and/or family or friends.  The 2 choices are:

    a) In Person, in the same room as the clinician in Swindon or Oxford by the AWP Autism Diagnostic Service

    b) Via Skype on a secure online server by the Healios ASC Diagnostic Service.

  3. If you choose the Healios via Skype service, please download, print and complete the Healios consent form.
  4. Make an appointment to see your GP to discuss having an autism diagnostic assessment.  Take with you these documents to assist the referral:

    a) Completed Client Information form

    b) The Choice of Diagnostic Service form

    c) Completed Healios consent form – if Healios is chosen, this form must be signed and sent with referral

    d) Any online questionnaires that you may have completed

    e) Notes or a list of why you think you might be autistic

    f) Any other relevant information or reports

You can take someone with you to the GP appointment if you wish.  At the appointment your GP will discuss some or all of these with you:

a) Your reasons for requesting a referral, possibly including a little about your developmental history

b) Any difficulties you may be experiencing

c) Your choice of diagnostic service, if you wish to discuss this with your GP

d) He/she may ask you to complete a short questionnaire called an AQ-10.
This may help the GP decide if a referral is appropriate.

If your GP decides that an autism diagnostic assessment is appropriate he/she will write a referral letter, enclosing your Client Information form and your choice of diagnostic service, ie In person (AWP) or via Skype (Healios).

Autism at Kingwood will contact you to confirm that your referral has been sent to the autism diagnostic clinic of your choice.

The Diagnostic Assessment

Before the assessment takes place the Diagnostic Clinic will send some additional questionnaires for you to complete.  These will help the clinic to plan your assessment. 

When they receive your completed questionnaires, the clinic will send you an appointment for the assessment.  Due to high levels of demand,  you may have to wait up to six months or more for an assessment In Person.  Skype assessments can be arranged more quickly because there are more clinicians available.

An autism assessment involves finding out about your current difficulties but also about what you were like as a child. Any information you still have from your childhood such as clinic reports and school reports will be helpful.  A parent or someone who knew you as a child can give information during the assessment process if you want them to.

After the Assessment

You will be offered a follow-up appointment to find out about the decision of the clinic, and what help might be available to you.  Some organisations offer Support in Oxfordshire after Adult Autism Diagnosis.

The clinic will write to you and your GP after the follow-up appointment with a report of the assessment and the outcome.


Unless you request otherwise, no-one will be informed about your referral for assessment or the outcome.  The only exception to this might be if there were concerns about your safety or the safety of others.  In that case, appropriate safeguarding authorities may be informed.

Data Protection

Autism Oxford and Autism at Kingwood will manage and handle information we need to hold about you in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. 

Autism Oxford is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office under Data Protection number ZA115597

Autism at Kingwood is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office under Data Protection number Z1003590

Questions – Contact Details

If you have questions about Adult Autism Diagnosis in Oxfordshire, please contact:

Oxfordshire Adult Autism Diagnostic Referral Service
Autism at Kingwood
2 Chalfont Close
Chalfont Court
Lower Earley District Centre
Reading RG6 5SY

Tel: 07554337980 or Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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