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Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Autistic Spectrum DisordersEach child or person with Autism will be affected differently, hence Autism being known as a spectrum disorder – some live relatively independent lives and some may have additional learning difficulties that require long-term specialist support.

The identification and diagnosis of ASD is a comprehensive process and many services within CCHP work together, and with other agencies to offer tailored support to families affected by ASD.

Autism is a disability known to affect the development of a child. A child with autism will communicate and relate to people differently to others. It also affects how they make sense of the world. They may be over or under sensitive to things such as touch, sounds, smells, tastes, colours or light.

The three main areas of difficulty for those with ASD are:

  • Social communication
  • Social interaction
  • Social imagination

Asperger syndrome is on the autistic spectrum and those with Asperger’s are known to have less problems with speaking, and can be of average or above average intelligence.

The above is only a brief overview, as those on the autistic spectrum are all very individual in how they are affected. There is more information available about Autistic Spectrum Disorders on NHS Choices.

If you are concerned about ASD:

  • Please initially discuss this with your GP, Health Visitor or School Health Nurse.
  • They will be able to discuss your concerns and if appropriate, access a referral for a health assessment with a Community Paediatrician. Your teacher or social worker will also be able to offer advice and support.

The Community Paediatrician will make an assessment through detailed discussion of history, examination and observations. Following a diagnosis, if relevant, they will co-ordinate a team of the appropriate services.

CCHP services that may be involved:

  • Children's Speech and Language Therapy
  • Specialist Community Learning Disability Services
  • Children’s Occupational Therapy
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • Earlybird Courses
  • Community Paediatrics

If you are referred to a Community Paediatrician, please expect an 'opt-in' letter within 8 weeks of reciept of the referral.
When you recieve this 'opt-in' letter please make contact as requested to arrange your appointment. If we do not hear back from you within a week of this letter, you will be sent one further 'opt-in' letter. If we do not hear from you within two weeks of this, it is then assummed you no longer wish to be seen, and a letter will be sent confirming that you have been discharged from the service.

If you are worried about what to expect from a health assessment - you are not alone. Please click here to view our 'Your Health Assessment' video to see what to expect.