Improving adult diagnosis, better support and services are top priorities for autistic adults.

Our pioneering centre at Newcastle University is leading the world in adulthood research.

By understanding each autistic person and their life experience they are

  • improving the way autistic adults are diagnosed and supported
  • developing personalised therapies that work for each autistic person
  • finding ways to improve mental and physical health in autistic people
  • improving autistic people’s quality of life through doing the research that matters to them

The research process

Jeremy Parr and his team are interviewing autistic adults, their family members and carers to find out about

  • their experiences of assessment and diagnosis
  • what care they received from the NHS

They’re also asking health professionals about

  • diagnosing autistic adults
  • how to improve diagnosis and services

Their work is identifying the best combination of screening, interviews and observation for diagnosing autism in adults. They are also finding the best examples of services for autistic people from across the NHS and making this information available nationally.

Explaining the need for this project

Autism is common - there are 700,000 people with autism in the UK.

But most diagnostic tools and support have been developed for children and research is needed to adapt these for use with adults across different ages and abilities.

How this project is making a difference

By understanding each autistic person and their experience, the team in Newcastle hope to ensure that all autistic people get the right support and services following their diagnosis.

The team have already reviewed the national guidelines for diagnosing autism in adults and made recommendations for improvements.