The NICE guideline on recognition, referral, diagnosis and management of adults on the autism spectrum

C. Ellie Wilson, Ged Roberts, Nicola Gillan, Chris Ohlsen, Dene Robertson, Janneke Zinkstok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to provide an overview of the recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical guidance for diagnosis and treatment of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and to discuss clinical and practical implications. – This is a summary and discussion of the NICE guidance for adults with autism. This includes discussion of relevant related guidance, the need for transition services for young people with ASD, education of professionals, applicability of the guidance to people with intellectual disabilities and challenges related to implementation of the guidance in a changing National Health Service. – The guidance provides an excellent overview of current and state-of-the-art strategies for diagnosis and treatment of ASD-related behaviours, and their level of evidence. In terms of diagnosis, the main recommendation for clinicians is to carry out a comprehensive assessment for adults with suspected autism, taking into account co-morbid mental health problems and potential unmet needs. In addition, NICE makes recommendations regarding pharmacological and psychological interventions and these are discussed. The guidance also makes specific recommendations regarding service design, for example the formation of Autism Strategy Groups. This will hopefully support the development of specialist adult autism services. – This paper provides new insights into the implications of the recently published NICE clinical guidance for autism in adults, relevant for health care professionals, service managers and service users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adults
  • Assessment
  • Autism
  • Guidance
  • Management
  • NICE


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