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The Cheyne Child Development Service - School age Autism (ASD) Assessment Pathway Parent Information

What is the ASD Pathway?

The ASD Pathway involves assessment, diagnosis, support and intervention for children referred to the Child Development Service who present with social communication difficulties. We hope to gain an understanding of your child’s strengths and difficulties across three areas: social interaction, social communication and social imagination. Following the assessment, we will decide if a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will be useful in explaining your child’s pattern of difficulties.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

ASD is a developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Individuals with ASD have difficulties with social interaction, social communication and social imagination. For more information on ASD visit the National Autistic Society www.autism.org.uk

How long will the assessment take?

It is difficult to give an exact time because each child requires a different combination of assessment appointments. Please contact the ASD coordinator for further information on your child’s waiting time.

Why do I need to give consent?

We require consent to ensure that you understand and are happy with why we are assessing your child and what will happen during, and after, the assessment. We also seek consent for us to gain and share information with other agencies (e.g. school) that support you and your child, so we can understand your child’s strengths and difficulties across different contexts. If you are unsure about giving consent, please contact us to discuss this further as this may impact on whether the assessment goes ahead.

What assessments will be completed on the ASD Pathway?

Families may be invited to a number of different appointments. These are detailed below. Please note that not all assessments will be required. Your child’s assessment will vary depending on their individual needs. We may also liaise with your child’s school/nursery to gain further information:

  • Developmental history: A structured interview with parents about your child asking questions about their birth, development and medical history focussing on communication and social interaction.
  • Structured Diagnostic Interview: A structured interview with parents which ask specific questions about your child’s social communication skills.
  • Cognitive Assessment: A standardised assessment of your child’s thinking and learning skills.
  • Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) assessment: An assessment of your child’s speech and language skills with a Speech and Language Therapist through a variety of tasks and activities.
  • Autistic Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS): A structured play and question-based assessment completed with your child.
  • School/ Nursery Questionnaires: To gain additional information about your child within the school/nursery context we ask a member of staff who knows your child well to complete a series of questionnaires about your child’s social communication, learning and behaviour.
  • School Observation: An observation of your child within the classroom setting to observe their social communication with peers. We also meet with their class teacher/familiar adult to complete a questionnaire to gain an in-depth understanding of their social communication within the school context. 

Who is involved in assessing my child on the ASD Pathway?

  • Paediatrician: A team of community paediatricians with a special interest in Social Communication Disorders
  • Clinical Psychology: A team of Clinical Psychologists and an Assistant Psychologist who support the assessment of social communication difficulties for school-age children and offer post- diagnostic support.
  • Speech and Language therapist: A team of specialist Speech and Language Therapists experienced in the assessment of social communication difficulties.

Are any other agencies involved?

We will normally contact your child's school/ nursery and any other professionals involved in your child’s care. This helps us to get a fuller understanding of their strengths and difficulties across different settings.

Sometimes we will ask one of the specialist teachers at the Kensington and Chelsea Early Years and Autism Outreach team or the Westminster Outreach team to liaise with school on our behalf.

Who should I contact for further information?

The ASD Pathway Coordinator is the main point of contact for all queries regarding appointment times, cancellations etc.

  • Woodfield Road ASD Coordinator: 0207 266 8776
  • Cheyne ASD Coordinator: 020 3315 3121

What will happen after the assessment?

  • A report summarising the assessment findings will be sent out and shared with other agencies (e.g. school, other professionals supporting your child).
  • We will refer your child to other services if required.
  • If your child receives a diagnosis of ASD you will be invited to our post-diagnosis support groups. 

What to expect when your child is referred for an ASD assessment:

Contact Us:

Cheyne Child Development Service
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
Doughty House
369 Fulham Road
London
SW10 9NH

Main Reception: 020 3315 6488
ASD Coordinator: 020 3315 3153

Parent Carer Forums:

Local offer information:

All councils are now required to have a Local Offer on their website. This provides information on the local services and support available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25 and their families: 

If you live outside of these areas, you can find your area’s Local Offer on your council’s website.

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