Specialist Neurodevelopmental Team
Assessment and Diagnosis for Children and
Adolescents with Developmental Disorders including
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
What do we do?
The Islington CAMHS Specialist Neurodevelopmental Service offers high quality, family-centred, assessments of Autism for Islington’s children and adolescents between 5-18 years of age. We also assess other neurodevelopment conditions that may occur with Autism, or might be confused with Autism.
What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Condition is a type of developmental disorder. A developmental disorder is something that people acquire before, during or soon after birth. There are no simple medical tests that can diagnose Autism. Professionals will make a diagnosis by gathering information from multiple sources about how a young person behaves and communicates. Autism is a condition that can affect children’s development in the following areas (these can also occur in other conditions):
- Understanding other people
- Understanding social rules
- Understanding emotions
- Imagination and flexibility
- Sensory processing: e.g. light, sound, texture
Autism is commonly referred to as a spectrum condition. This means there can be a wide variety of strengths and difficulties. All children with Autism have strengths and there are a number of skills and strategies they can learn so that they manage their difficulties better.
What does the assessment involve?
We will invite you and your child to attend a series of appointments at our clinic.
Here is an outline of the meetings that will take place:
Parent Information Meeting
- Opportunity to learn more about the assessment process
- Receive screening questionnaires to fill in before the first appointment
- Family Meetings
- Separate parent and child meetings
- A school visit to observe your child in this context
- ADOS—This is a standardised evaluation of a young persons communication and social skills using a series of play based and conversational tasks.
Possible extra meetings if additional assessments are needed: e.g. cognitive, speech and language or occupational therapy assessment.
Up to 3 Feedback Meetings to explain our findings to parents, child and school.
What happens next?
About 50% of the children we assess receive a diagnosis of Autism.
What happens if my child is given a diagnosis of Autism?
After the assessment and feedback meeting we will offer you: 4-12 Post diagnostic sessions at our clinic to further discuss the outcomes of the assessment and the next steps. These include:
- A school feedback session where we will meet with your child’s teachers to feedback the outcomes of the assessment and make recommendations for school.
- Support links to other services such as early support key worker, family support workers, voluntary organisations.
- Practical advice about where to go for help with benefits, education issues, etc.
- We will also refer you to other specialist services if your child has additional needs e.g. Speech and Language Therapy within the school, Bridge Outreach Service (autism advice for mainstream school).
What happens if my child is not given a diagnosis of Autism?
After the assessment and feedback meeting where a diagnosis is not given we will refer your child to the most appropriate team(s) to meet any needs identified in our assessment. These teams will help you understand your child’s difficulties better and find solutions.
These teams could be:
- Another team at Islington CAMHS e.g. if your child has depression or ADHD
- Services outside CAMHS e.g. Families First and mentoring services.