Autism and ADHD Assessments Debate

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Department: Scotland Office

Autism and ADHD Assessments

James Sunderland Excerpts
Monday 6th February 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Elliot Colburn Portrait Elliot Colburn
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I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. There are some shocking statistics about the sheer lack of neurodiverse people in the UK workforce. That is nothing to do with people receiving a diagnosis; it has everything to do with the fact that we are wasting that opportunity.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
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On that point, I welcome the fact that the special educational needs and disability review is imminent, as we heard from the Minister last week. Let us wait and see what it says. Of course, this is about autism and ADHD. Waiting times are causing havoc everywhere, but people cannot necessarily get medication or treatment for a particular condition until it has been diagnosed. Does my hon. Friend agree that we need early diagnosis as quickly as possible so that parents and others can be assisted with the provision of the appropriate medication?

Elliot Colburn Portrait Elliot Colburn
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I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his intervention, and he is absolutely right. The delay in diagnosis also means a delay in treatment. We have debated this topic many times; just last week in this Chamber, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Esther McVey) led a powerful debate on waiting times. I thank colleagues who have shared their stories individually.

I want first to touch on ADHD as a neurodiverse condition, which is believed to impact over 3 million people in the UK. However, there is substantial evidence that it is vastly underdiagnosed.