At medical stage of recruitment process, need advice!


I have just passed my RT and interview and have reached the stage where I am filling out the medical and health questionnaire. I 'suffer' from High functioning autism/asperger syndrome. (a very mild kind of autism, which I don't believe has ever effected me, nor do my friends of family). I was diagnosed when I was 8 and I am now 18, I have never had any medication or treatment since diagnosis, it has never hindered my prospects until now.

How will this affect my application? Will it be a straight NO or will it be dealt with on a case by case basis. I am considering contacting the NHS and complaining about my diagnosis as I am that certain that I don't suffer from the disorder, not to mention when I was 8 the doctors wasn't sure whether it was this or ADHD, (I was badly behaved and apparently needed to be diagnosed, which I completely grew out of for as long as I can remember).

I am going to call up the AFCO and discuss this with them. Any advice/answers would be greatly appreciated! Thanks


War Hero
Nemesis1066 is better qualified to advise. I'm not qualified to give medical advice, but would offer some common sense layman's advice:

I'm afraid it's one of those labels that once attached, is difficult to remove.

I have no doubt there are people with undiagnosed "mild" autism spectrum disorders in the Armed Forces, but the difficult bit is trying to retrospectively claim otherwise if the condition was severe enough to warrant a trip to a GP for diagnosis.

ADHD/ADD and ASD are very different beasties. A lot of people with ASD think life in the armed forces will be "regimented", routine, rigid and therefore manageable when in fact it is anything but routine and the ever changing facets of the job can be deeply troubling and make life difficult and unsettling and the reason it is a bar is as much for the wellbeing of the individual as much as for those who may rely upon them to behave completely altruistically in times of extreme duress and mental stress.

Similarly those with ADD/ADHD may think the disciplined life of the Armed Forces is what they need - the reality is we don't want people who won't do as they are told, particularly in life and death situations and for that reason ongoing ADD/ADHD is an outright bar.

Advice - if ASD was incorrectly diagnosed, you need qualified professional medical supporting evidence. If you claim it's ADHD - you need to be fully clear of the condition and able to prove it, again with a qualified medical professional supporting evidence over a number of years free from the condition.
Thanks for the reply!

One of the main reasons why I believe that I don't actually suffer from ASD is that I fit none of the categories for diagnosis, Maybe when I was 8 I would have however I cannot remember. Do you know how I would go about getting this evidence, do I simply contact my GP and explain to him the situation? And will I definitely NOT pass the medical because of this, or will I be able to explain the situation to the medical examiner at my AFCO and let him judge the situation. Thanks.


War Hero
You are advised to take copies of any medical condition declared on the medical questionnaire to the medical examination. The AFCO Medical Examiner (M.E.) may well write to your GP, so it's worth having a chat with your GP to explain your situation upfront.

With regard the decision with regard medical suitability, my apologies for the same old record, but the AFCO M.E. will call the shots once in possession of the full details - it's not possible for me to second guess that I'm afraid.

Good luck.
Ok it will get straight onto my GP tomorrow, thanks very much for the advice.

One more thing, if I am to fail the medical test is there anything I can do? Such as appeal the decision?


War Hero
In the event you are not passed fit for entry, the AFCO M.E.will tell you why and under what circumstances, if any, you may appeal.

You cannot appeal against the actual medical standard for entry but you can appeal the diagnosis if you can prove it was incorrect with supporting, qualified medical evidence. Be aware, if you have to appeal, you only have six months in which to do so, so it may be worth getting the evidence upfront.
Okay I will try and obtain some evidence asap. So just to clarify, despite me suffering from ASD, the AFCO ME can still pass me if he/she believes that I am fit for service?


Lantern Swinger
Apologies for not replying sooner, I have been off having fun with no internet.
Any confirmed form of Autism, including high functioning Aspergers is likely to be a medical rejection.
I am afraid that is the standard the Doc's follow.
If, and it is a big if, you can have the original assessment rebuttedvby another suitably qualified specialist, then who knows. Might be worth exploring if the result doesn't go your way.
Good luck.
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