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Autism, ADHD and ADD support and assessment

If you are worried that your child is finding day to day life challenging and that this might be due to difficulties associated with Autism, ADHD or ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder) this page will help you to find out more about autism, ADHD and ADD and what support is available.

The videos below can help to explain a little about Autism, ADHD & ADD

 

 

What is Autism Spectrum Condition?

Autism Spectrum Condition is a lifelong developmental disorder that can affect the way people understand the world around them, process information and relate to people. Children and young people with ASC sometimes have difficulties with social interaction and communication and may struggle with friendships and play. They may also have some difficulties with routines and rituals, sensory differences, repetitive behaviours and intense and restricted interests.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

ADHD is a developmental condition where poor concentration, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour affects the young person to the extent that it impacts on their day to day functioning.

What is Attention Deficit Disorder?

ADD is a developmental condition, beginning in childhood and often continues into later life.  The young person may have difficulty in maintaining attention and concentration, sometimes may have impulsive behaviour.

There is various support that is available for those that are on the assessment waiting list and for those that have not been accepted for assessment.

You do not always need a diagnosis to access this support

You can speak with Thriving Kirklees about what support is available on 0300 304 55 55

Northorpe Hall can also provide help and support - please go to the Northorpe Hall help for parents/carers webpage by clicking this link (opens in new window)

  • Children’s Emotional Wellbeing Service (ChEWS): Works with children aged 5-18 offering short term interventions where emotional needs are impacting on their day to day lives.
  • Speech and Language Therapy: Work with children with language and communication difficulties.  Parents and carers can refer directly.
  • PCAN: An independent, parent-led forum in Kirklees for all parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs aged from birth to 25 years. 
  • The Whole Autism Family: A voluntary support group formed by parents, with all money they raise going directly into supporting families affected by autism.  Contact: 07564 256626 or info@thewholeautismfamily.co.uk
  • The Huddersfield Support Group for Autism (HSGA): Aims to offer help and advice to families living with autism, including Asperger’s syndrome and pathological demand avoidance syndrome (PDA). A confirmed diagnosis of ASD is not needed to join the group. www.hsga.org.uk
  • Cerebra UK: Provide sleep support to any family who have a child aged 0-16 with autism or other neurological conditions, development delays or learning difficulties – or who are awaiting an assessment. Telephone – 01267 244200 or 0800328 1159 – enquiries@cerebra.org.uk
  • The National Autistic Society Autism Helpline: Information and advice for young people who are autistic, or family members or carers of someone on the autism spectrum – telephone: 0808 800 4104.
  • West Yorkshire ADHD support group - We are a peer-led voluntary support group offering a wide range of support to both adults with ADHD and parents/carers of children with ADHD. You/your child does not need a diagnosis to join our group. If you suspect that you/your child may have ADHD, you are very welcome to join us.  The support we offer is tailored to the individuals needs and includes listening to concerns and providing moral support, providing information on ADHD and co-morbid conditions and giving practical advice on coping strategies as well as advocacy where required.  For more information, send a message via their Facebook page (opens in new window).  Or email them at westyorksadhd@gmail.com 

If you are worried that your child is finding day to day life challenging and that this might be due to difficulties associated with ASC, ADHD or ADD, please discuss your concerns with a professional who knows your child well to see if they have the same concerns and discuss if a referral for an assessment is appropriate.

You can also discuss your concerns by telephoning the Thriving Kirklees Single Point of Access (SPA)  on 0300 304 55 55 or by completing the online form at Thriving Kirklees (opens in a new window).

Someone from the SPA team will then contact you to discuss your concerns.   They will ask you some questions to help you get the right help and support and may ask for your permission to speak to your child’s nursery/school/college or other appropriate professional to gather further information. This is to create a full picture of your child’s needs and to make sure that your child and family have access to support as soon as possible.

Where professionals aren’t involved in your child’s life, don’t worry – each case is considered on an individual basis

There may be other things that need to happen before a referral to the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service can be made and this will be explained and discussed with you. 

Professionals to speak to who can provide support and make a referral:

  • Special educational needs coordinator (SENCo),
  • Speech and Language Therapist,
  • Early years SEN,
  • Complex communication and interaction specialist provision,
  • Educational psychology team
  • Sensory OT service,
  • Portex childcare inclusion and portage,
    paediatricians.

Where none of the professionals listed above are involved in your child’s life, don’t worry – each case is considered on an individual basis and other people may be identified who can provide some information.

Who can make a referral?

Referrals to the Neuro developmental Service can be made by any professional who knows your child and has a good understanding of your child’s needs by telephoning the Thriving Kirklees Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 304 55 55 or by logging a support request on the Thriving Kirklees referral webpage (opens in new window).

 

Once the referral has been received by the Thriving Kirklees Single Point of Access (SPA), Neurodevelopmental assessment forms are sent to you and your child’s education provider - nursery, school or college (if appropriate) or alternative professionals. Please talk to SPA about your situation / circumstances and any concerns that you have. When these forms are completed please return these to the Thriving Kirklees Single Point of Access at address provided.

The Neuro developmental Team will consider all the information received and if appropriate the referral will be accepted for assessment. You will receive a letter informing you of the decision as soon as this has happened. If the team do not feel an assessment is appropriate the letter will explain to you the reason for this and any suggestions for the way forward.

The waiting times for assessment vary depending on demand and capacity. The letter you receive will give an estimate of current wait times where possible. Detailed information about the assessment process is provided to families once they have been accepted onto the waiting list.

Support available

All of the above support will continue to be available while you are waiting and if your child has not accepted on to the waiting list

Contact single point of access if you need support while you are waiting for your assessment.  They can provide help and advice and put you in contact with other appropriate services.

Thriving Kirklees will speak to any professionals that are already involved with your child.  This is to create a full picture of your child’s needs and to make sure that your child & family have access to the support they need as soon as possible.   

Assessment forms are sent to your child’s education provider if they are attending an educational setting.  If they are not attending a setting then these forms will be sent to those professionals who know your child best.

A form is also sent home to the parent or carer.

They will complete a form and parent/carer will complete a form.

If you have any questions at this stage, please speak with Thriving Kirklees on 0300 304 55 55.

These forms need to be posted to Northorpe Hall - the address will be given to you.

Once you have been accepted for assessment and the forms have been completed and returned your child will be placed on the assessment waiting list.

The waiting times for assessment vary depending on demand and capacity. The letter you receive will give an estimate of current wait times where possible. Detailed information about the assessment process is provided to families once they have been accepted onto the waiting list.

Thriving Kirklees will consider the referral and if they feel that a referral is not appropriate then they will tell you about what other alternative support is available for you.

They may direct you to support from another service or to self-help resources.  Details of what support may be offered can be found further down this page.

An appointment will be offered for you and your child to attend the Neuro developmental Assessment Clinic. You will receive details approximately one month before your appointment.

You (parent/carer) will be seen by one of the team’s clinicians who will ask about your child’s development. This person will be your contact person throughout the assessment process.

Your child will be seen by another clinician for a play/activity-based assessment to observe and assess their skills and behaviours. Children may understandably feel a little worried about what this might be like but most children quickly relax and report they really enjoy the session.

The initial assessment usually takes about 1.5 - 2 hours.

After your appointment the team will use all the information they have available to decide whether your child does or does not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ASC, ADHD and/or ADD. Sometimes the information gathered will be very clear and a decision can be made but sometimes additional assessments might be needed.

  • What additional assessments might be carried out?
    • A school observation – the team might feel that they need more information about how your child manages in a classroom situation or how they interact with their peers, rather than just the adults they met in the assessment. This helps the team gain information and observations from another setting.
    • An Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – this is a structured assessment that uses activities and questions to identify some of the key difficulties associated with ASC.
    • A QB test – this is a computerised test that gives a measure of a child attention, activity and impulsivity when compared to other children of their age group and helps provide more information when there are concerns around ADHD type behaviours
    • A Cognitive Assessment – this assessment specifically looks at different areas of the child’s learning and may be used if the team want to know more about whether learning difficulties might better explain some of the difficulties rather than ADHD or ASC

You will be contacted after the team have discussed the information either to let you know that some more assessments are needed and what these will be or with an appointment to feedback the outcome of the assessment. After this a full assessment report, with recommendations, will be sent to yourself and all relevant professionals.

Once the assessment has been completed your child will be discharged from the neurodevelopmental assessment team.

Cygnet parenting support group

The Cygnet Parent Support Programme aims to support parents and carers of a child or young person aged 5-18 who has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Conditions

There are 6 sessions, and it is essential to attend all of them to get the most from the programme. Sessions will last approximately 2-3 hrs each. Find out more on the Cygnet information sheet which can be downloaded here. (opens word document in new window)

Cygnet will run throughout the year.

To access the programme please make a support request through Thriving Kirklees on 0300 304 5555 or on the Thriving Kirklees request support page here

Support available if not diagnosed

If your child does not receive a diagnosis of ASC, ADHD, ADD and you need support share your concerns at your feedback appointment. The team will put you in touch with appropriate support or you can contact the Thriving Kirklees Single Point of Access on 0300 304 55 55 or fill in the online form on the Thriving Kirklees website.

The Adults with Autism service is a run by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation trust (SWYPFT).

The service offers adults diagnostic assessment and/or specialist interventions for people who are 18 years+ and do not have an intellectual disability.

There main clinic is based at the Manygates clinic in Wakefield, however they use a number of community bases, including ones in Kirklees.

Service users have access to a multi-disciplinary team which includes medical, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy and speech & language therapy practitioners. Specialist social work support is also available from the team or from our local authority partners.

Referrals are accepted from GP's, consultants and other services within the SWYPFT.

This services has a FAQ document about the referral process, which can be found here (downloads word document).

You will be contacted by South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) with an appointment for the diagnostic assessment.

Outcome of the assessment:

If you are diagnosed and meet the criteria for an Autism Spectrum Disorder, you and in some cases your family, may have a lot of questions.  You will be offered up to 2 more appointments to discuss the implications of the diagnosis for you and what support may be helpful for you.  This is not compulsory and not everyone feels they need this and decline the offer.

Depending where you live, you may also be offered further specialist health or social care interventions from the Service which will be discussed with you at the time.

Please consider the following before making a referral to the Neurodevelopmental Assessment 

  • If the child has Speech and Language needs please refer to Speech and Language Therapy.
  • If there are concerns that the young person may have significant learning difficulties please seek advice and / or assessment from Educational Psychology or other relevant professional.
  • If there are concerns that the child’s difficulties are a response to issues within the home or environment please consider other early support services available.
  • If the child’s difficulties are related to emotional wellbeing or mental health issues, please refer to the Single Point of Access for emotional wellbeing and mental health support.
  • Continue to work with families while the referral is waiting for assessment

Referral are only accepted for assessment when:

  • Fully completed Neurodevelopmental Assessment referral forms for home and school have been received and all relevant documents are attached (eg. My Support Plan, EHCP, reports from other professionals).
  • There is evidence of ‘significant impairment across all settings’, this means that the child’s difficulties make their everyday life at home, school and other places far more challenging for them than it would be otherwise, for example making friends, learning etc
  • Strategies and support to address the needs that have led to the referral have been implemented and evaluated.
  • The information in the referral shows evidence of the key feature of ADHD and/or ASC.  If there is not enough evidence another intervention may be identified as being needed in the first instance e.g. mental health intervention, social care, speech and language therapy etc.
  • When difficulties outlined in the referral are not better explained by an already identified condition

Contact single point of access if you need support while you are waiting for your assessment.  They can provide help and advice and put you in contact with other appropriate services.

How to make a complaint, appeal a decision, or provide feedback

The service encourages feedback as a way of improving services. If you wish to share your views and experiences, positive or negative, please contact the service in the first instance. The service may directly be able to resolve any issues quickly.

If however, you are not satisfied with the response, SWYPFT have a dedicated Customer Services Team who deals with all comments, compliments, concerns and complaints.

You can contact the Customer Services Team in the following ways:

In person: We are happy to meet with you. You can contact us in one of the ways below to arrange an appointment. If you are in hospital you can ask a member of staff to contact us on your behalf.

By telephone: 01924 316060

By email: customer.servicesSWYT@nhs.net

By post: Customer Services, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Block 10, Fieldhead, Ouchthorpe Lane, Wakefield WF1 3SP

Last updated: 13/07/2021