The Autism Pathway is part of the Bradford/Airedale Neurodevelopmental Service (BANDS). It offers specialist support for adults referred for a comprehensive diagnostic assessment. The Autism Pathway is for adults 18 years+ without a learning disability across Bradford, Craven and Airedale.

Autism – Polish subtitles; Urdu subtitles; Bengali subtitles and Punjabi subtitles.

Our specialist local service is accessible, friendly, and approachable.

We have a person-centred approach, always putting the needs of patients and their family and carers first. Our team has extensive experience working with autistic adults. We are trained in the relevant and recognised diagnostic assessment tools, in accordance with NICE (National Institute of Care Excellence) Guidelines.

What is autism?

“Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them”.
National Autistic Society (2020)

Our service uses the term ‘autism’ but recognises other labels and is in line with NICE Guidance and Quality Standards. Approximately 1-1.5 per cent of the general population are autistic. The exact causes are unknown. There is no cure, or medication for autism.

To receive a diagnosis of autism, difficulties must be present in the following areas: social interaction, social communication, social imagination and flexibility of thinking. Many autistic people also have sensory differences which can affect them in various ways. These difficulties must be present across a person’s lifespan.

If you are over 18 years of age and think you might be autistic, please see this guide for pre-diagnosis support from the National Autistic Society.

More about Autism

You may also find our factsheet helpful:

Autism factsheet – English
Autism factsheet – Arabic
Autism factsheet – Bengali
Autism factsheet – Gujarati
Autism factsheet – Pashto
Autism factsheet – Polish
Autism factsheet – Punjabi
Autism factsheet – Urdu

Referrals and referral criteria

Unfortunately, due to resource issues, we have had to suspend the option to self-refer. Referrals to the service can still be accessed through your own GP.

We work with adults (18 years upwards), who do not have an additional learning disability.

Adults with a diagnosed learning disability may receive support from local learning disability services.

We have a transition pathway from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for young people aged 17 and a half onwards.

What to expect if you are referred to our service

Once we receive your referral and it is accepted as being appropriate, you will go onto our waiting list.

Once you reach the top of our list, we will send you some questionnaires by post to be returned. Due to having so many people seeking help, if we do not receive your completed questionnaires, we may discharge you from our case load.

Once we receive your completed questionnaire, we will contact you to arrange an initial interview.

Our assessment process


Our comprehensive specialist diagnostic assessment process uses validated specialist assessment tools recognised by NICE. It starts with you filling in our questionnaires as explained above and attending an initial interview, so we can get to know you better. Due to COVID-19 restrictions these have mainly been taking place via phone call or video call on Microsoft Teams. We now have some limited face-to-face appointments, and we will discuss your individual needs beforehand.

We will then also conduct an interview with someone who can give us information about your early history (preferably a parent or close family member). If this is not possible for whatever reason please discuss this with us.

If you do not have traits of autism

If it becomes apparent you do not have traits of autism, we will discuss this with you and signpost you elsewhere for support more suitable.  We work closely with our colleagues in the BANDS (Bradford Airedale Neurodevelopmental Service) ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) pathway, however the services are not inclusive.

If you do have traits of autism

If we proceed, we will then carry out a further appointment via video call or face-to-face to complete an assessment using a specialist diagnostic tool.

If we can confidently give you a diagnosis after this assessment, we will deliver this on the same day. Alternatively, we may need to gather more information, so we are able to give an accurate diagnosis.

You then may have a feedback appointment and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. If you receive an autism diagnosis you will be offered a post diagnostic appointment and will receive a post-diagnostic pack.

Report and recommendations

You and your referrer will then receive our comprehensive assessment report on how we came to our outcome including our recommendations and local and regional support.

The whole process can take several weeks. Every person we see is different which is why we use a person centred approach, taking into consideration personal circumstances. If you have any questions or worries about the process, we will be glad to help.

“Thank you for our enjoyable conversation today, and also for your consideration and kindness during the whole process. I have found it more beneficial and healing than all the other interventions put together.” 

EC – diagnosed autistic June 2021


How to contact us

Our working hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday – contact us on 01274 221189

BANDS Autism Pathway
Horton Park Health Centre,
99 Horton Park Ave,
Bradford BD7 3EG

Robert’s story…

Robert’s story – Polish subtitles
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Robert’s story – Punjabi subtitles

Sarah’s story…

Sarah’s story – Polish subtitles
Sarah’s story – Urdu subtitles
Sarah’s story – Bengali subtitles
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