Adult autism and ADHD


NICE Clinical Guideline [CG142] - Autism spectrum disorder in adults: diagnosis and management -updated 2021) - This guideline covers diagnosing and managing suspected or confirmed autism spectrum disorder -autism, Asperger’s syndrome and atypical autism) in people aged 18 and over, including updated recommendations on the use of the AQ-10 tool.

NICE Guideline [NG87] – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management -updated 2019) - This guideline covers recognising, diagnosing and managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -ADHD) in children, young people and adults. It aims to improve recognition and diagnosis, as well as the quality of care and support for people with ADHD. It also includes recommendations on when pre-medication ECG is needed.

NICE Clinical Knowledge Summary – ADHD -2021) - Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -ADHD) is a behavioural syndrome characterised by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. It starts in childhood. Information on features, recognition, diagnosis and management options are covered in this knowledge summary.

NICE Quality Standard [QS39] – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -updated 2018) - This quality standard covers diagnosing and managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -ADHD) in adults, young people and children -aged 3 and over).

NICE Quality Standard [QS51] – Autism -2014) - This quality standard covers health and social care services for adults, young people and children with autism. It includes assessment and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, and care and support for people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

SIGN Guideline 145 -Assessment, diagnosis and interventions for autism spectrum disorders -2016) - The guideline provides recommendations for best practice in the screening, surveillance, diagnosis, assessment and clinical interventions for children and young people with ASD. It also incorporates evidence and recommendations on assessment, diagnosis and interventions for adults with ASD.

Useful resources

ADHD Foundation - This section of the website has a multitude of resources designed for clinicians and includes guidance on understanding and supporting patients’ ADHD assessment and treatment.

Autistic Spectrum Quotient-10 -AQ-10) - The autism spectrum quotient -AQ-10) tool is recommended for use with adults with possible autism who do not have a moderate or severe learning disability. This may help identify whether an individual should be referred for a comprehensive autism assessment.

Hub of Hope - A directory of local services for support with a wide variety of mental health and related issues.

Patient and carer information

ADHD UK - This website has information on aspects of ADHD including diagnosis -there is a self-screen questionnaire), treatment and obtaining support.

Autism Alliance - This is a network of 17 charities across the UK. It works to support, provide information, research and provide training about childhood and adult autism.

National Autistic Society - This site offers advice on a wide range of issues affecting autistic people and their families.

Resources for Autism - Resources for Autism provides practical services for children and adults with a diagnosis of autism and for those who love and care for them.

Royal College of Psychiatrists - Information for patients, carers, family and friends relating to mental health problems and disorders.

Further information and reading

British Association for Psychopharmacology – Autistic Spectrum Disorders -2018) - Pages 5-6 of the BAP guidelines document are particularly useful as they focus on the assessment and identification of autistic spectrum disorders.

Chamberlain, S., Cortese, S., Grant, J. -2021) Screening for adult ADHD using brief rating tools: What can we conclude from a positive screen? Comprehensive Psychiatry  - This study found that the use of an adult ADHD screening tool considerably over-identified probable ADHD, with low positive predictive value. It offers key advice about the appropriate use of such tools, to maximise benefits and minimise harms.