The Cambridge Lifespan Autism Spectrum Service (CLASS) clinic offers a specialist diagnostic assessment for adults who may have Autism Spectrum Disorder without intellectual disability or language delay.

How this service can help you

The Cambridge Lifespan Autism Spectrum Service (CLASS) clinic offers a specialist diagnostic assessment for adults who may have Autism Spectrum Disorder without intellectual disability or language delay. You can download our leaflet from the bottom of this page.

Autism Spectrum Disorder without intellectual disability or language delay

  • This is a medical condition that involves a different pattern of brain development and brain activity.
  • It is caused by genetic factors.
  • It affects males more often than females (but many females may have been missed or misdiagnosed).
  • It occurs in as many as one in 100 people.
  • It leads to difficulties in social and communicative development and unusual, strong, narrow, repetitive interests.
  • Individuals with ASD may have an average or above-average IQ and excellent attention to detail.
  • In ASD, there may be a history of language delay.
  • It is not uncommon for ASD to be accompanied by other developmental disorders, e.g., ADHD or Dyspraxia and mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression are quite common.

Benefits of diagnosis

Diagnosis helps people access different services, as appropriate:

  • Relevant information
  • Social support groups
  • Advice to employers, partners and carers
  • Supported employment
  • Sheltered housing
  • Social skills training
  • Management of mental health symptoms
  • Disability benefits
  • Advocacy and mentoring
  • Access to reasonable adjustments when disclosing diagnosis

Coronovirus (COVID-19) information for individuals referred for an adult autism assessment at CLASS

Recent referrals

If you have been referred to the CLASS clinic for an assessment of possible Autism Spectrum Disorder please note the following:

Due to the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) situation, CLASS Clinic staff are unable to work in our usual ways.  This means we are unable to start new assessments or collect information from you. This is because we may not be based at the clinic or our skills may be needed to support other NHS frontline services. Please be assured that we will keep your referral and we will contact you when we are able to resume our usual ways of working. We will then send you some questionnaires and information to complete and send back to us. 

Waiting List

If you have been referred to the CLASS clinic for an assessment of possible Autism Spectrum Disorder and have been placed on a waiting list please note the following:

Due to the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) situation, CLASS Clinic staff are unable to work in our usual ways.  This means we are unable to start new assessments or collect information from you. This is because we may not be based at the clinic or our skills may be needed to support other NHS frontline services. Please be assured that we will be in touch with you again when we are able to resume our usual ways of working. At that time, we will send you indications of appointment dates.

Staying well 

If you are concerned about your mental health or think that you or someone you care for is in crisis or in immediate need for help you can contact the following:

First Response Service: Call 111 and select option 2. Calls will be answered 24/7 by trained mental health practitioners. We encourage people to not go to A&E if they are in mental health crisis unless they require serious or life-threatening immediate emergency mental or physical health assistance.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough out of hours service: Telephone 0808 808 2121, between 7pm and 11pm, 7 days a week.

Samaritans: If you feel you urgently need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Telephone 116 123 (free call).  

Coronavirus guidance  

If you are concerned that you or someone you care for may have Coronavirus (COVID-19) please find information about what to do about this at the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. 

If you have active symptoms (persistent cough and or high temperature) government guidelines are that you self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with someone with these symptoms current government guidelines are that you self-isolate for 14 days.   These guidelines may change so please check online for updates. This can be found here:

Useful resources

Information about coronavirus for autistic adults and their families

The National Autistic Society has provided information about COVID-19 and guidelines here

Information is also provided as a social story here by Carol Gray.

There is a downloadable hospital passport here should you or your loved one need to attend the hospital.

Mencap have also created an EasyRead version of its advice to download

General guidance about managing your mental health and wellbeing:

You may find that you are feeling more anxious than usual and that there has been a lot of change in your everyday life, especially when following the Government’s guidance on social distancing.

 General advice is available from the NHS and the mental health charity MIND about coronavirus and well-being.

The CPFT website also has lots of helpful advice about wellbeing during the current situation which can be accessed here.

Resources for autistic adults about mental health and coping with the impact of Coronavirus in everyday life:

The National Autistic Society have produced some resources and tips for autistic people and families here

Nottingham City Autism Service have produced some self-care advice for their patients with information about the Coronavirus and strategies for managing physical and emotional wellbeing while services are operating differently.

The Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh (AMASE) has published information and guidelines about coping in the current pandemic on their website

A helpful guide to coping with the uncertainty of Coronavirus is available on the Autistica website here.

For a discussion about coping with social distancing and isolation measures during the Coronavirus pandemic have a look at this community support webinar on YouTube from As I Am in Ireland.

You may also find it helpful to read blogs or advice from autistic individuals who have shared their thoughts about managing during the Coronavirus situation. Here is one from Spectrum Women which discusses how mindfulness and being present can help in handling crisis anxiety.

Resources for employers of autistic adults during the Coronavirus outbreak:

For many, the need for social distancing due to Coronavirus, has meant that there are challenges for employees and job seekers with autism. This link offers advice for employers about well-being and work arrangement adjustments:

Guidance for parents and carers:

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak please also see Public Health England’s guidance here

Guidance for families and carers of people with learning disabilities and autism:

Advice to support families/carers of people with learning disabilities through the Coronavirus restrictions can be found here

 

Where is it?

CLASS Clinic
Chitra Sethia Autism Centre
The Gatehouse
Fulbourn Hospital
Fulbourn
Cambridge
CB21 5EF


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Contact the service

Autism Clinic: 01223 219673

Further information


The page was last updated on 10 April 2020 by awoods.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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IP: 34.236.245.255