Autism: recognition, referral, diagnosis and management of adults on the autism spectrum
This is an extract from the guidance. The complete guidance is available at guidance.nice.org.uk/cg142
This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of adults with autism.
Support and care should take into account peoples' needs and preferences. People with autism should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If adults with autism do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and people with autism and their families, partners and carers is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to the person's needs. Support and care, and the information people are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English.
If the person with autism agrees, families, partners and carers should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about support and care.
Families, partners and carers should also be given the information and support they need.
Care of young people in transition between paediatric services/child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and adult services should be planned and managed according to the best practice guidance described in the Department of Health's Transition: getting it right for young people.
Adult and paediatric healthcare/CAMHS teams should work jointly to provide assessment and services to young people with autism. Diagnosis and management should be reviewed throughout the transition process, and there should be clarity about who is the lead clinician to ensure continuity of care.