There is a Perverse Incentive not to diagnose autism. In addition to the other reasons given by Kat Lay following the official line. NHSreality very much doubts that the savings claimed possible would be made, and the net result of efficient (over?) diagnosis would be greater than now. Prolonged rationing by undercapacity and incompetent manpower planning in paediatrics is responsible..
Families are waiting more than three and half years for diagnoses of autism in children, pushing many to crisis point, experts have warned.
The National Autistic Society said that the average waiting time for autistic adults to receive a diagnosis was two years.
In a letter in The Times today, 11,627 of its supporters say: “Delays mean that autistic people are developing mental health problems, falling into anxiety and depression, and that families are breaking down under the strain of being left to look after loved ones without any support.”
Earlier diagnosis could save £67 million a year by reducing the number of GP appointments and emergency admissions and the use of mental health services, the letter goes on to say. Reasons for long waits include larger numbers of people asking for assessment, a lack of understanding of the condition among some GPs and a lack of diagnostic services and resources. ….A study of parents writing about their child’s diagnosis found that the average wait between first contacting a healthcare professional and getting a diagnosis was 3.6 years. More than half said that the process had left them dissatisfied, with 84 per cent reporting it had been stressful.
A separate study of autistic adults found that their average time between first contacting a healthcare professional and receiving a diagnosis was two years. Almost a third had been forced to seek help privately.