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.


Please follow this link for the NHS pages about autism. To see what the autism team do, and who they are, click here

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.  The referral pathway can take about 1 year.  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
2.    An initial assessment with a member of staff, and a decision made about which form of support is best suited to your child or young person
3.    If the initial assessment concludes there should be a full autism assessment, this will be undertaken by a clinical psychologist, an occupational therapist and a mental health worker.  This will be a half day clinic appointment, and Lime Trees has a leaflet for parents and families about the clinic appointment.   

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.  

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:

Last Updated: June 2019