Private autism assessments and diagnosis

We are able to offer fast access private autism assessments and diagnosis to those who are showing signs of autism.

  • Conducted by experts trained in autism
  • Autism assessment available from £1,950
  • Shorter waiting times than the national average
  • Comprehensive outcome report
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Priory offers private autism assessments for children and adults who are showing signs of autism, with waiting times that are significantly shorter than the national average.

As of March 2024, there were 184,733 people waiting for an autism assessment in England, according to the latest NHS data. Data also shows that, over the past year, the average wait time for an autism diagnosis increased to 300 days (source).

Our autism assessments 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.

Following the autism assessment, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive outcome report, based on NHS and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) standards. The entire end-to-end process for our private autism assessment usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks. 

Autism assessments for children and adults

Autism assessments at Priory explained

We are able to offer fast access private autism assessments and diagnosis to those who are showing signs of autism.

  • Assessments conducted by experts specifically trained in autism
  • Autism assessment available from £1,950
  • Shorter waiting times than the national average
  • Detailed and comprehensive outcome report provided
  • Discussion of next steps and additional support if required
  • No formal GP referral necessary

Our online autism tests

We offer a free online screening test for autism, known as the AQ-10. The AQ-10 is a quick questionnaire that you can complete on behalf of yourself or a child/young person. It’s a simple screening tool that indicates whether you/your child might benefit from receiving a full diagnostic assessment for autism.

This can be a useful step if you’re not sure whether you/your child might be showing autistic traits, or if you just want some confirmation of the traits you’ve observed. The test is quick to complete and you’ll get your results immediately.

The AQ-10 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:

  • A screening process, 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 autism 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. The exception to this is when a person needs to see a psychiatrist before entering the 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 autism 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 autism assessment is £1,950. This includes the autism diagnostic tool (ADI-R), ADOS assessment and feedback session. This doesn’t include an initial mental health assessment, where we'll discuss any complexities, risks, or other concerns you might have, such as anxiety, past traumas or relationship issues. 

For people who go down the consultant-led route, the cost for the 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 an initial mental health assessment, and costs may vary depending on 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 autism 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
  • 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:

  • 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 autism assessment? Is further support available?

Following the autism 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 autism assessment centre, please search below.

Contact us to make an enquiry or for more information

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