Tameside and Glossop adult autism assessment service

We offer a specialist assessment service for autism in adults over 18 years of age, who are registered with a GP in Tameside or Glossop.

A diagnosis of autism can be a helpful thing. It can help you understand and explain why you might find certain situations difficult. It can also help you connect with the autistic community and share experiences.

A diagnosis can also lead to reasonable adjustments being made within the workplace, education or healthcare.

Meet the team

Tameside autism team - Eilis Sue BelindaOur team is made up Eilis Sheridan, Sue Gittins, and Belinda Hodson.

Eilis is a highly specialist speech and language therapist, autism diagnostician.

Sue is a highly specialist social worker, autism diagnostician.

Belinda is our administrative officer.

Please get in touch with us to find our more about the autism diagnostic service or see below.

If you are aged 18 years or above with a GP in Tameside or Glossop, you can refer yourself for an autism assessment. We also accept referrals from GPs or other professionals with your consent.

The first stage in the assessment process is an initial screening questionnaire. This is a way of gathering information regarding general areas associated with autism.

Secondly, we will ask you about who is available to provide additional information such as a parent, sibling, partner or friend. We will send out additional questionnaires about your childhood and about you now to collate information on possible autistic traits.

Thirdly, you will be asked to take part in a more formal semi-structured conversation, which is observed. This may include some interactive activities. 

All the information gathered is then discussed by members of our team. We come to a conclusion and write a report about whether you meet criteria for a diagnosis of autism.

After the decision, you will be offered the opportunity to ask questions about the outcome. This often includes advice and signposting to other services.  We also offer you a chance to complete a Healthcare Passport, which is intended to help healthcare staff provide the you with the best care.

We thought it might be helpful to tell you what we don’t do, to avoid us having to reject your referral and reduce delays in you getting the right support elsewhere.

Unfortunately we are not commissioned to provide the following:

  • Psychological or therapeutic support - see talking therapies
  • Long-term support - see social services
  • Support with personal independence payment (PIP) or other benefits claims - visit the council or government websites for advice, citizen’s advice, housing association, or various charities or law centres.
  • Assessments for anyone under the age of 18 years old. Please visit the Tameside and Glossop CAMHS page for more information on services for young people.
  • We do not conduct assessments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or other neuro-divergent conditions. Please speak to your GP if you think you may have ADHD and would like an assessment.
  • We do not offer 'behavioural’ support

Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways. Like all people, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses. Below is a list of indicators autistic people may share.

  • Social communication and interaction challenges, such as difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Some autistic people are unable to speak or have limited speech, while other autistic people have very good language skills but may struggle to understand sarcasm or tone of voice. Autistic people often have difficulty 'reading' other people - recognising or understanding others' feelings and intentions - and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard to navigate the social world.
  • Repetitive and restrictive behaviour. With its unwritten rules, the world can seem a very unpredictable and confusing place to autistic people. This is why autistic people often prefer to have routines so that they know what is going to happen. Autistic people may also repeat movements such as hand flapping, rocking or the repetitive use of an object such as twirling a pen or opening and closing a door. Autistic people often engage in these behaviours to help calm themselves when they are stressed or anxious, but many autistic people do it because they find it enjoyable.
  • Over or under sensitivity to light, sound, smell and/or touch, colours, temperatures or pain. This can cause anxiety or even physical pain. Many autistic people avoid everyday situations because of their sensitivity issues. Schools, workplaces and shopping centres can be particularly overwhelming and cause sensory overload.
  • Highly focussed interested or hobbies, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong. Autistic people can become experts in their special interests and often like to share their knowledge. Like all people, autistic people gain huge amounts of pleasure from pursuing their interests and see them as fundamental to their wellbeing and happiness.  Being highly focused helps many autistic people do well academically and in the workplace but they can also become so engrossed in particular topics or activities that they might neglect other aspects of their lives. 

Watch this 'what is autism' video by the National Autistic Society.

Watch this 'we are autistic' video by the NHS.

Autism is not an illness or disease. An autism diagnosis in adulthood can provide clarity and be validating for many people in their day to day lives.

It can help you to develop a positive autistic self-identity and foster connections with the autistic community.

It can also help you access reasonable adjustments in health (both physical and mental health). A diagnosis is often helpful in getting the right support and or treatment for other health conditions.

It can also help you access support in other areas, such as employment and education.

Watch this short video called 'invisible disabilities - how an autism diagnosis changed my life'.

Once a referral has been received it will be reviewed by a qualified member of our team who will decide if it is appropriate. The more detailed a referral is, the more informed the decision making can be regarding eligibility for an autism assessment. 

The next stage of assessment for autism is for you to complete an autism-specific screening questionnaire. 

Your responses will be reviewed by a clinician and if the referral is accepted you will be added to our waiting list. We may also contact you for further information. If there are insufficient indicators of autism then we are unable to accept your referral.

Unfortunately, our waiting list is very long. You are likely to be waiting at least three years for a fully completed assessment, though this could be longer. Please contact us for more information on waiting times.

While you are on the waiting list we will keep you informed about your referral, and you will be contacted for further information gathering.  This will include us asking about who is available to provide additional information such as a parent, sibling, partner or friend.  We will send out additional questionnaires about your childhood and about you now to get information on possible autistic traits.

The final stage of the assessment process is a face-to-face meeting at our clinic, conducted by one of our clinicians with another clinician present to take notes. This includes a semi-structured conversation with some activities known as the autism diagnostic observation schedule (or ADOS).

Following this meeting we will meet to review all the information gathered and conclude if you are autistic or not.  We will then contact you with the outcome and complete a report summarising the assessment process and decision making.

We offer one post-assessment appointment which allows you to ask questions and seek clarity about the assessment outcome.  We offer signposting to other services and provide information.  We do not offer any ongoing support.

View our patient journey flow chart with more information on this process.

Some people who we have supported have shared what getting an autism disagnosis means for them. Read their stories in their own words.

Referral form - We accept referrals from GPs and professional, or you can refer yourself, using this referral form. Please send it to us via email to pcn-tr.tgadultautism@nhs.net, or via post to Tameside and Glossop adult autism diagnostic service, Hollingworth Clinic, Market Street, Hollingworth, Hyde, SK14 8HR.

AQ50 form - This is a standardised 50 item self-report measure to help gather information regarding traits of autism in people over 16 years. It is suitable for men and women without identified learning disabilities.  Once completed you can attach this to the referral form. Download a print-friendly AQ50 form.

You can also ask your GP about any alternative, quicker routes to an autism assessment. Visit the NHS website for more information on your right to choose. ​​​​​​

We don't have an expansive team and only provide a diagnostic service, so we are unable to offer support after your diagnosis.

We have developed an information pack based on feedback from other autistic people about what they found helpful following a diagnosis. Download a copy of the information pack.

You can also contact us for signposting to other helpful services.