© Derek Ironside

Author: Laura Smith
Date: March 30, 2021

The number of women seeking a private diagnosis for conditions linked to autism has climbed during the pandemic as experts call for better specialist training for GPs and frontline staff.

Independent consultant Dr John Forrester has seen his caseload increase dramatically during lockdown with more women being seen for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “The last six months has been my busiest period in 10 years, and waiting times have been pushed from two to eight weeks,” said the Aberdeen-based consultant, who works with patients across Scotland.

“This is probably due to the mental health impact of the pandemic and recent strain on NHS services but there is a growing awareness of ASD in women.”

Forrester said there was “no easy route for adults, women and men, to access an assessment unless they have a learning disability or another mental health problem”.

“In the past few years, my referrals for women have increased dramatically. About three-quarters of the diagnostic work I do now is with women,” he added.

“For intellectually-able adults who don’t have any cognitive impairment or learning disability, there’s no referral route unless they have secondary mental health condition. If they’re not reporting…

From: The Sunday Post. Read more here: https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/women-diagnosed-with-autism/