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Referrals for assessment are increasing, and the numbers of children and young people being diagnosed are also increasing.  Health professionals work with families and schools to assess for autism and make a diagnosis.


You can view information on the NHS pages about autism. You can also see what the autism team do, and who they are on their team leaflet.

You will be able to find information about Autism Assessments on the Autism Assessments Pages.

In York, there are three autism diagnostic service, depending on the age of the child or young person.

Under 5

Assessment is undertaken by the child development centre at York Hospital.  Referral to the service is from either a GP or a speech and language therapist.  The whole pathway at York Hospital can take about 1 year, because paediatricians will want to rule out any other health or development issues before considering a full assessment for autism.  If your child is diagnosed with autism, then you will be invited to a discussion and advice session with the specialist teacher for autism and the autism speech and language therapist.  There will be help and support in early years’ settings and into school, depending on the level of need your child has, which will be discussed with you.


5-18 years

If your child or young person is of school age and under 18, the referral for assessment is made to the Child and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CYPMH) at Lime Trees Clinic in York.  

Lime Trees Clinic is at 31 Shipton Lane York, and the phone number is 01904 615300.  

You may self refer to the clinic or be referred by your GP or on the advice of your child’s school.  Due to considerable increase in referral rates there is currently a significant wait for autism assessments within CAMHS.

There are three parts to referral and assessment process:
1.    Initial 30 minute call to you to discuss the issues around the referral.  If agreed that further assessment is needed, then appropriate screening forms are completed by families/carers and school.

2.    An initial assessment with a member of staff, following which a decision is made about which form of support is best suited to your child or young person, and which, if any, pathway is the most appropriate within the CAMHS service for a young person to be allocated to.

3.    If the initial assessment concludes there should be a full autism assessment, this will be undertaken by a multi- disciplinary team, and include a parent/carer interview and a play based assessment with the young person.  Lime Trees has a leaflet for parents and families about the autism assessment appointments.   

If there is a positive diagnosis of autism, parents are invited to join an ASCEND course, run jointly by Lime Trees and York City Council specialist teaching team, which offers advice and information about autism and some of the approaches to parenting children and young people with autism.  

It may be that other recommendations are made as a result of the autism assessment for those who do not receive a diagnosis of autism.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the Lime Trees process but to make a referral families will need to contact Lime Trees directly.You can do this by calling on 01904 615300.  

Over 18 years

Referrals are made through your GP, your social worker or the community mental health team to the Tuke Centre on Heslington Lane for assessment and diagnosis.Please follow the link for more information.

Support for families

There are many organisations offering information and support for people and families affected by Autism, including: