The Student Room Group

ADHD and autism

I went to my old GP for an autism referral, they said let's refer you for ADHD please tell us your symptoms prior to age 12 which I didn't have.

I've then been to my university mental health service for autism and they too sent me forms for ADHD and want to screen me for that.

I've now swapped GPs because I'm at uni, I rang them earlier for autism and they said I have autism, I said I wanted counselling for that.. they've sent me counselling details for ADHD.


Why does no one want to diagnose me or help me with autism? Is this the same for everyone or just me? I've said to them it's affecting my mental health and daily life a lot and I really want help with managing it, and they're just trying to say I have ADHD. I know they normally come together and I think I might have some of the symptoms on the focusing side but..... I don't need help with any of them because ADHD doesn't ruin my life, autism does.


I'm actually stuck on what to do now? Am I being forced to go private? Which I can't afford :frown:
If you didn't have symptoms before 12, what makes you think you have autism?

Have you looked for any charities or Facebook/reddit groups for people with autism? You can often get a lot of helpful advice from people on there.
Reply 2
Original post by black tea
If you didn't have symptoms before 12, what makes you think you have autism?

Have you looked for any charities or Facebook/reddit groups for people with autism? You can often get a lot of helpful advice from people on there.
I have had autism symptoms before 12, they wanted symptoms of ADHD.

I didn't think of that, thanks :smile:
Reply 3
There are lots of options that you could try under the NHS Right to Choose legislation if you haven’t explored this already, as waiting lists are so much shorter. They can differ slightly based on where you live but Psychiatry UK is a good one since the appointments are online rather than in-person so you won’t be restricted by whether you’re at home/uni. They also do assessments for both ADHD & ASD, and offer titration. If you’ve already received a diagnosis then do you think it would be worth having a telephone appointment with your GP? This way you could properly discuss with them exactly what you feel you need help with/want the outcome to be (re therapy etc). They could at least advise you what options and services are available to you - sorry if any of this response is not relevant, I may have misunderstood parts of your original message!
Was it an NHS assessment for the ADHD
normally they do them joint so maybe when assessed for ADHD it said you didn't meet the criteria for autism and they just didn't tell you at the time as that wasn't what you were being assessed for and it's on the doctors records
Original post by Anonymous #1
I went to my old GP for an autism referral, they said let's refer you for ADHD please tell us your symptoms prior to age 12 which I didn't have.

I've then been to my university mental health service for autism and they too sent me forms for ADHD and want to screen me for that.

I've now swapped GPs because I'm at uni, I rang them earlier for autism and they said I have autism, I said I wanted counselling for that.. they've sent me counselling details for ADHD.


Why does no one want to diagnose me or help me with autism? Is this the same for everyone or just me? I've said to them it's affecting my mental health and daily life a lot and I really want help with managing it, and they're just trying to say I have ADHD. I know they normally come together and I think I might have some of the symptoms on the focusing side but..... I don't need help with any of them because ADHD doesn't ruin my life, autism does.


I'm actually stuck on what to do now? Am I being forced to go private? Which I can't afford :frown:
ADHD and Autism have very similar symptoms and are often used interchangeably. I think the NHS has better resources for ADHD which is why they push you to be referred for that. Additionally, the wait times for Autism assessments are months long (longer compared to ADHD) which could be a reason for your GP behaving this way.
Reply 6
Regardless of what others have said ADHD and autism are different conditions and health services should not be using them interchangeably. I can see the rationale in screening for both but ignoring your concerns about autism and just giving you ADHD information is weird. With your new GP, what do you mean when you mentioned they said you have autism? Is it possible you've already been diagnosed e.g. as a young child? Sorry if I've misinterpreted that! And have you ever been given a reason as to why everyone refers you to ADHD services?

Also, in some places you can self refer to autism diagnostic assessment services and support services for adults, so it may be worth looking into what NHS adult autism diagnostic service and support service operates in your area and potentially bypass all this annoyingness and refer yourself straight to them if that's something they offer (though to access support services you will need a diagnosis first most of the time).
Original post by Anonymous #3
ADHD and Autism have very similar symptoms and are often used interchangeably. I think the NHS has better resources for ADHD which is why they push you to be referred for that. Additionally, the wait times for Autism assessments are months long (longer compared to ADHD) which could be a reason for your GP behaving this way.
The autism assessment in most parts of the country is over 2 years and it isn't unsual to have to wait 5 years.
Unfortunatley, people aren't able to get seen in a couple of months
Original post by Anonymous #3
ADHD and Autism have very similar symptoms and are often used interchangeably. I think the NHS has better resources for ADHD which is why they push you to be referred for that. Additionally, the wait times for Autism assessments are months long (longer compared to ADHD) which could be a reason for your GP behaving this way.
Also the traits aren't very interchangable until 2015 you couldn't be diagnosied with both due to differences. They aren't the same please educate yourself more on this issue before commenting things like they are facts
The reason people go to professionals is to get *their* professional opinion, if so many experts and doctors think you have ADHD not Autism maybe you should listen.

ADHD is more than just the 10 yr old hyper boy stereotype, I would recommend you just look into the referrals they want you to get, if you get diagnosed you get diagnosed if not, then pursue an autism diagnosis if you really really are convinced and possibly bring it up with the expert in your ADHD diagnosis consultation

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