Recognition, assessment, diagnosis and individual formulation

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Resources to support with recognition, assessment and diagnosis of autism (Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)) and other neurodevelopmental conditions and disorders

Different Minds. One Scotland.

This website was created by The Scottish Government and written in partnership with autistic people. Facts and myths about autism are explored, and the website includes comments and accounts from people with lived experience of autism.

Different Minds. One Scotland.

What is autism?

What is autism?

This 10 minute film was designed to raise awareness and understanding of autism.  The film follows 3 autistic individuals as they explore what their autism means to them, including: social communication; patterns and routines; sensory experience; and how to make things better.  

This film was co-produced with autistic people and The National Autism Team in Wales, funded by the Welsh government.  NES would like to thank them for permission to use this resource.

Living with autism

Living with autism

In this 9 minute film 3 individuals share their experiences of living with autism to raise awareness.  Increased understanding can improve the lives of autistic adults.

This film was co-produced with autistic people and The National Autism Team in Wales, funded by the Welsh government.  NES would like to thank them for permission to use this resource.

A film about the signs of autism in children.

The birthday party

This 19 minute film was designed to help frontline professionals identify the signs of autism in children.  

The film describes the signs of autism seen in three children at a birthday party. The message of the film is that the same signs can show themselves in different ways. Because of these differences, sometimes the signs can be easy to miss. The signs can also be common in children without autism too so it is important to look for the pattern in which they present.

The film was produced as a partnership project between government, university and clinical partners and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Welsh Government. Its development was based on Cardiff University led research. NES would like to thank the National Autism Team in Wales and Cardiff University WARC for permission to use this resource.

Autism - do you know the signs?

Neurodevelopmental Assessment Webinar; recognising and assessing neurodiversity and a presentation of the Fife Neurodevelopmental Questionnaire (F-NDQ)

Here you are able to request access to view the recording of the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Webinar; recognising and assessing neurodiversity and a presentation of the Fife Neurodevelopmental Questionnaire (F-NDQ) held on September 21st 2021, 9.30-12.30pm via MS Teams.

To request access please complete this short form: 

Speakers for this webinar

Dr Max Davie - Consultant Community Paediatrician, Lambeth, Evelina London Community services, Officer for Health Improvement at The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and trustee and founder of the charity ADHD UK 


Dr Joshua Muggleton: Clinical Psychologist, Learning Disability Psychology Service for Children and Adults, NHS Fife 

Content of Webinar

1) What determines the trajectory of child development? ​

2) What is neurodevelopmental complexity?​

3) Why do a neurodevelopmental assessment? ​

4) Who needs a neurodevelopmental assessment?  ​

5) How should a neurodevelopmental assessment be structured? ​

6) What needs to change?​


We hope you find it useful for your practice.

Diagnostic assessment - ADOS-2

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) is a naturalistic, observational, standardised assessment that plays a key role in the differential diagnosis of autism. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guideline on autism assessment, diagnosis and intervention ('the SIGN Guideline') states that 'a clinical observation / assessment element is an essential part of the diagnostic pathway'. The ADOS-2 is globally recognised as the ‘gold standard’ instrument for this purpose.

NES funded training is available through the Scottish ADOS Consortium.

From 2022 NES Psychology will be responsible for the selection of candidates for ADOS-2 training places. NES will compile a list of 12 candidates per course (distributed across Health Boards and service types, and nominated as priorities within their Health Board) with 4 reserve candidates. These candidates will then register with the Scottish ADOS Consortium who can match them with a coach, and complete all the course requirements.

NES is committed to a high-quality implementation of the ADOS-2 training.  To properly embed this method into practice we ask all those who take part to commit to pre and post course learning and on the job coaching. The following video outlines this commitment and will be helpful both for staff who would like to apply for the training and for managers to know what is involved for the staff they nominate for the training.

What is Autism

Broader issues in the autistic community

What is the ADOS?

What can i do right now for this autistic person?

What ADOS training involves

ADHD learning resources

The following 2 learning modules relating to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are hosted by the University of Nottingham.

We want to be clear that we are aware there are differences in shared care agreements and treatment monitoring between NHS Scotland and NHS England (where these modules were developed), as well as across different health boards in Scotland so please hold this in mind when you are viewing these resources.  

Both modules have been endorsed and accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the content is consistent with the guidance provided by NICE in relation to supporting individuals with ADHD.  

Understanding ADHD 

This resource provides healthcare professionals and members of the public with information about how to assess and recognise ADHD in children and adults. 

The focus is on the potential risks of unrecognised and untreated ADHD which is helpful given this condition is often missed or misdiagnosed.  

The beginning of the module has somewhat of a deficit focus (especially the ADHD timeline) and is not balanced in terms of the positives about ADHD, for example, creatively, high energy and the potential benefits of hyper focus. However, there are good resources at the end with extended videos from the children and adults in the module which highlight their own views of their difficulties, as well as some positives of having ADHD. 

The role of general practitioners in ADHD diagnosis and management

This learning resource provides primary care professionals with information on their role in the diagnosis and management of ADHD within the context of primary care. Although the title suggests this resource is for G.P.s we also think that it will be useful for other professionals who wish to extend their knowledge about ADHD.  

Understanding ADHD in Girls and Women Webinar - Recorded on 17th January 2023

This 3-hour webinar provides an understanding of ADHD as it presents in girls and women and focuses on how girls and women with ADHD are often missed, misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Information will be provided on how ADHD can present differently in girls and women, the impact of female hormones on ADHD, the bias of teachers, clinicians and the public and most importantly what we can do differently going forward.

Assessing ADHD in children and young people webinar - recorded on 1st February 2023

Dr Aileen Blower (Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and CAMHS Advisor to Scottish Government) introduces the Scottish context for assessment of ADHD and this 2-hour webinar provides clinicians who work in ADHD assessment clinics with practical clinical advice on assessing ADHD in children and young people. This will include information about screening, school observations, diagnostic interviews, and co-morbidities. The webinar will also focus on some of the challenges of assessing girls for ADHD including use of screening tools and masking.

The recording contains clinical information at the enhanced level relating to the assessment of neurodevelopmental conditions and access to the videos will be restricted to an appropriate audience.  Therefore we ask that you do not share the link, or password, with colleagues.  Should you feel that the webinar contents would be relevant to colleagues, please encourage them to sign up through the form below.


Thumbnail of Assessing ADHD webinar

Here you are able to request access to view the recording of the Assessing ADHD in cildren and young people Webinar held on February 1st 2023,  via MS Teams.

To request access please complete this short form: