Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people.

ASD is characterised by impairments in:

  • Reciprocal Social Interaction
  • Social Communication
  • Social imagination and Social Understanding
                                          and 
  • Stereotyped behaviour, restricted interests or marked resistance to context changes are a common picture.
  • Unusual sensitivity to sensory stimuli is common. 
  • Co-morbidity and dual diagnosis are often seen in people with autism. 

Diagnostic Guidelines

Gold standard diagnostic practice for Autism Spectrum Disorder


Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network

http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/sign98.pdf


National Institute for Health & Care Excellence

http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/13572/56428/56428.pdf

http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/13774/59685/59685.pdf


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Diagnosis, Approaches & Outcomes

Diagnosis of ASD

Multi-disciplinary diagnostic assessment is recommended and may involve a range of professionals; including at least Psychiatry, Psychology, Speech and Language and Autism Specialists. Diagnosis is sometimes a lengthy process and is often particularly difficult in intelligent adults, whose symptoms are sometimes subtle. Early diagnosis tends to improve outcomes. 

Approaches to ASD

ASD is a heterogenous disorder and there is no support formula or specific treatment that will work or be appropriate for all. Intervention and support approaches are informed by many factors, including the severity of symptoms, the environment, and any learning or behavioural concerns. Often support approaches are behavioural-environmental and are based on an understanding of the persons unique experience of ASD. Other approaches may involve, for example, dietary interventions, sensory related therapies or medications. Not all approaches are scientifically proven to be effective for people with ASD, and, considering the individual nature of ASD, any supports or interventions should be highly individualized after careful consideration of their appropriateness.  

More on Approaches and Treatments.

Outcomes for People with ASD

The variable abilities of and wide range in severity of symptoms is reflected in the significantly variable outcome for individuals with ASD. People with ASD with significant learning disabilities will often require a high level of support long term, but they may also be able to achieve relative independence and contribute to society, for example by gaining meaningful employment. People with ASD, including those with Aspergers Syndrome, whose intelligence and verbal ability is not significantly impaired, often become successfully employed and achieve significant independence in other areas of their life. For many, the outcome is influenced by the understanding response of others around them, the efficacy of support or interventions, and their own personality response to their difficulties.

Who we work with


  • Individuals 
  • NHS & local authorities
  • Criminal Justice Departments
  • Employers 
  • Voluntary sector 
  • Families & carers
autism consultant scotland