Private autism assessments and diagnosis

We offer private autism assessments for children and adults who are showing signs of autism.

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Priory offers private autism assessments for children and adults who are showing signs of autism. These are conducted by either a qualified psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist, all of whom are experts, and specifically trained in the field of autism diagnosis and support. Each of these options may have different costs and waiting times, depending on your preferred location and the type of specialist you’re seeing. We can guide you through the most suitable options for your needs.

Following the assessment, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive outcome report, based on NHS and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) standards. You can then share this with whoever you need to. For children and young people, their outcome reports can be shared with their schools so they can receive any additional support they need.

Why choose Priory for a private autism assessment?

No need for a GP referral
Receive a bespoke outcome report and recommendations for further support
Shorter waiting times than the national average

How to get a private autism assessment

There are three main ways you can get started with our autism assessment process.

  • If you or a young person meet the eligibility criteria for our fast access to therapy service, we’ll be able to assess during this session whether autism could be present. If autism is indicated, we can then start you on the private autism assessment process
  • If you’re already receiving therapy with us and your therapist picks up on certain behaviours or responses that might suggest autism, they can initiate the autism assessment process for you
  • If you’re presenting with complex mental health needs and it has been recommended that you see a psychiatrist to receive a formal diagnosis, your psychiatrist will be able to explore your symptoms and behaviours and refer you for an autism assessment as part of your treatment plan, if they think this is needed

Our autism assessment pathways

Watch our video explainer detailing Priory's autism assessment pathways for adults and children - and how you can get started.

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Get in touch

Online autism tests

The AQ-10 is a quick questionnaire that people can complete on behalf of themselves or a child/young person. It’s a simple screening tool that indicates whether the person might benefit from receiving a diagnostic assessment for autism.

The AQ-10 is a self-report questionnaire that has three versions. You can click on the relevant link below to take the test for yourself or your child:

What happens in an autism assessment?

Our autism assessment process is the same for both adults and children. It’s made up of a number of elements, including:

  • An initial screening, using the autism spectrum quotient test (AQ-10), to help us determine whether our full autism assessment is an appropriate step for you. This consists of us asking you a brief set of questions to determine whether you’re showing some of the signs of autism. This can be done at the initial enquiry stage. Alternatively, if you’re receiving treatment for other mental health concerns, this step may be conducted by your mental health treatment team, as part of your treatment pathway
  • A specific autism diagnostic tool, such as the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO), the developmental, dimensional and diagnostic interview (3Di) or the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R). This step can take place without you present. It’s a chance for our specialists to speak to key people in your life, which may include parents/guardians (if nominated), in order to explore your developmental history. For children, this stage will often need input from schools too. We'll ask you for the contact details for these people, and contact them directly
  • An Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), observing and assessing for any autism traits. This is conducted and carried out by two specialists, and focuses on your behaviour and/or reactions during the session
  • A multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting, to agree on and formalise your diagnosis
  • A detailed outcome report
  • A feedback meeting to talk about the outcomes of your assessment and provide any recommendations for further support

"A diagnosis provides a psychological map of understanding of where a person struggles and what they might now be able to do about it. It also improves their sense of identity, something that improves their sense of who they are, and this alone improves their mental health.

Having a formal assessment and diagnosis also gives them something they can take to their employer/school to ask for support.”

Read more about the importance of diagnosis here.

John Day CAMHS psychologist at Priory Wellbeing Centre Southampton


Do I need a GP referral to access the private autism assessment?

We always ask for any relevant information from your GP, but you don’t need a formal GP referral to be able to access our autism assessment process.

What is the minimum age for a child to receive an autism assessment?

We can offer autism assessments for children from the age of 4 years.

How are parents/guardians involved in their child’s assessment?

Depending on the age of the young person, parents/guardians can be involved in all stages of the assessment process. This can be discussed and agreed upon during the initial screening session.

During the ADI-R stage of the autism assessment process, we need to gather information on the person’s developmental history from as many people as possible. Therefore, parents/guardians and other key people in the person’s life will need to be involved. This is the case for both adults and children.

How much does it cost to get a private autism assessment?

Prices for the autism assessment can vary depending on whether this is conducted by a therapist/psychologist, or a consultant psychiatrist.

For people who go down the therapy/psychology-led route, the cost for the full autism assessment is £1,950. This includes the autism diagnostic tool (ADI-R), ADOS assessment and feedback session. This doesn’t include any initial screening, as this very much depends on the context for the screening, for example, whether this is done as an initial step, or following a recommendation from a mental health treatment team.

For people who go down the consultant-led route, the cost for the full autism assessment will be around £2,250, which includes the autism diagnostic tool (DISCO, 3Di or ADI-R), ADOS assessment and feedback session. Again, this doesn’t include any initial screening or mental health assessment, as this will depend on the route for accessing this, as well as individual consultant fees.

Some private medical insurance (PMI) companies may fund your autism assessment and diagnosis. Please contact your insurer to check whether you're covered for this service.

What kind of specialist will I see?

Your assessment can be conducted by either a therapist, psychologist or a psychiatrist. The type of specialist you’ll see can depend on a number of factors. These include:

  • Whether you have any additional mental health concerns, that need a more comprehensive initial assessment
  • Whether you have been advised to see a psychiatrist
  • If you would like to discuss psychiatric medication
  • Location and specialist availability

We can guide you through the options and help to determine which would be the most appropriate for you. If you start on the therapist or psychologist route, but it becomes clear that you’d benefit from a psychiatric assessment, then we can refer you to one of our psychiatrists quickly and easily.

How long does the process take?

How long each stage of the autism assessment takes can vary slightly depending on each person. However, the following is a general guide:

  • Screening/assessment session – the length of this can vary, depending on the route taken into treatment
  • ADI-R or other diagnostic tool – allow for 2 hours
  • ADOS – allow for 2 hours
  • Feedback meeting – allow for 1 hour

The whole end-to-end process usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks.

What happens after the assessment? Is further support available?

Following the assessment, we’ll discuss next steps and any further support that you might benefit from. We can offer one-to-one outpatient sessions for autistic people who may need extra help managing their condition. We can also help people who have anxiety and/or depression symptoms, linked to their autism, that they might need some support with.

Psychoeducation is also a really important part of the process. This is when you educate yourself about the psychological impact of autism, typical characteristics and normalising some aspects of it. We can support you with this, and recommend websites/resources to help you to learn more about your diagnosis.

Will I need to join a waiting list?

We aim to keep waiting times as low as possible, and this depends on the location of your nearest site.

How do I make an enquiry?

For all enquiries, please call our customer service centre on 0800 840 3219. Our friendly team will be able to answer any initial queries you have, and start the process for booking your private autism assessment.

For more information on the end-to-end process for our autism assessment, please download our detailed information sheet, available in the 'downloads' section below. This document provides an insight into each step of the process, helping you to determine if our assessment service is suitable for your needs, and ensuring you're fully informed and prepared.


Autism assessment information

Autism assessment flowchart

Autism assessments near me

We support people with autism throughout the country, meaning that you can access the assessment and support you need in a convenient location. To find your nearest assessment centre, please search below.

Contact us to make an enquiry or for more information

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