As part of the Needs Led Neurodevelopment assessment process, children, young people and their parents or carers will be invited to attend a number of assessments. These assessments may include an Aide Memoire, an ADOS, a Speech Language and Communication assessment, a Differential Diagnosis assessment and a School / Education setting assessment. Not every child will need all of these assessments. All these interventions play a very important role in the diagnostic process and it is essential that children, young people and their parents or carers attend all of the assessments they have been invited to. Below gives some information about what will happen at these assessments and why it is important to attend.
The Neurodevelopmental Pathway Team
A team has been developed specifically to co-ordinate the assessments and support which a child and their family might need whilst undergoing an assessment for ASD. The remit of this team will expand to include ADHD over time. The service is provided by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation NHS Trust (TEWV) and is for children aged between 5 and 18 who are registered with a GP in Hartlepool or Stockton-on-Tees.
For children aged under 5 – work is still ongoing to change this assessment process, but at this time, please continue to speak to your health visitor, GP or other health professional.
We have also changed the way in which your child can be referred for an assessment. Details can be found below.
How to refer your child for a specialist assessment
Referrals will be accepted from all professionals who work with children and young people, including paediatricians, speech and language therapists, schools and Daisy Chain.
If you think your child or young person has not had their needs met by accessing the services highlighted in the bubble of support or who you feel would benefit from a multi-agency pathway assessment, please make an appointment with one of the agencies referred to above.
Alternatively, you can contact the team directly and they can discuss your child’s needs with you.
Once a referral is received, it will be discussed at the weekly multi-agency triage panel, following which the panel coordinator will be in touch as soon as possible to share conclusions and next steps with you. This panel is made up of representatives from health, education and local authority as all organisations have a role to play in meeting the needs of your child.
As we follow a ‘needs led’ approach across Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees, you could be asked to access additional services (those in the bubble of support) to meet the needs of your child before a more formal diagnostic route is taken. You will be talked through this process and this will be coordinated by the Pathway Team.
Making a referral to the team
Referrals should be made using the referral form which can be downloaded below and which must be completed jointly by the professional and the parent / carer before being submitted via email to the team. We also ask that as much information as possible relating to the child’s needs is included with the referral, a list of what can be submitted is included on the form.
Please click here to access the current version of the referral form.
What will happen if my referral is accepted onto the diagnostic pathway?
The team will communicate with you throughout the process to explain which assessments your child will require. These can range from speech and language therapy, community paediatrics, consultant psychiatry and educational psychology, to autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS), school or home assessments.
The journey for each child and young person is different and will depend on their individual needs, not every child will require all of the assessments outlined above. All of these referrals and assessments will be completed and coordinated by the Pathway team. You will then receive appointments directly from the services that are required to assess your child.
The team aims to support young people, parents and carers as much as possible throughout their assessment process and is happy to offer support and advice. For any additional information, please contact Tewv.firstname.lastname@example.org
You can download the following Pathway timeline to help you follow the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessment process.