Autism Diagnostic Research Centre
Tel: 023 8020 2631


Once a referral has been received from the person’s GP together with confirmation of funding, the person will be contacted by post. They will be asked to complete a form giving permission for ADRC to contact their GP to obtain details of their previous medical history.

They will also be asked to fill in three self-rating questionnaires (AQ, EQ, SQ) and return them to ADRC Southampton.

ADRC will then write to the GP with the following request: “Since our aim is to supplement, not repeat previous investigations or assessments it would be very helpful if you could forward copies of any relevant reports that you have regarding this person to ADRC Southampton. Reports/correspondence relating to any previous brain injury or contact with psychiatric services would be particularly helpful.” We include a copy of the person’s written consent.

The information from the GP and the scored self-rating measures are collated and discussed at one of ADRC’s monthly inter-disciplinary team meetings.

The person is then invited to attend for an appointment. Included in the letter is this information: “We would like someone who has known you since your early childhood, such as a parent, to come with you to provide details about your developmental history. This is an extremely important part of the assessment process.” We also include a leaflet outlining the assessment process together with directions to the clinic.

Overview of the pre-diagnostic assessment

In the video below, Vicki Russ (Assistant Psychologist) gives an overview of the pre-diagnostic assessment, or Triage.

Read the transcript of the video

"When a referral first comes through to us, we will contact the referer and ask them to send through copies of any relevant reports that have previously been done. That helps us to gain a bit more of an insight into the patient, and also stops us from repeating things unnecessarily.

Then we will send the patient some questionnaires, these are the Autism Quotient (AQ), the Empathising Quotient (EQ), the Systemising Quotient (SQ) and a Sensory Profile Checklist Revised (SPC-R). These are all standardised questionnaires, and are self-reporting, so the person fills them in themselves.

We then put all of that information together, and take it back to the clinical team, so that everyone can gain a much better understanding of the patient before they're seen."

Vicki Russ, Assistant Psychologist