– Autism is a spectrum condition, yet many autism services limit access based on IQ score. The Department of Health 2009 enabled enthusiastic clinicians in Leeds with a strong interest in autism to apply for funding to develop an all IQ adult autism diagnostic service and here we present the experience. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
– The process of establishing and then expanding the service is described. Details of the diagnostic pathway and tools used are provided.
– The number of referrals was higher than expected – a baseline of 20 per year rose to 150 per year as soon as the service opened. Other unexpected findings include relatively low diagnosis rates (32 per cent), high rates of past trauma and patient dissatisfaction when a diagnosis of autism is not given.