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Autism assessment in North Somerset: SCAMP

Autism assessment in North Somerset: SCAMP

What is SCAMP?

The Social Communication and Autism Multi-professional Pathway (SCAMP), is the recognised pathway for a diagnosis of autism or other complex social communication needs for children and young people (2-18 years old) in North Somerset.

Diagnosis of autism is complicated because at the moment there is no ‘physical test’ such as a blood test or a genetic test. Instead, diagnosis relies on careful observation of a range of behaviours across different settings and over a period of time.


Who can make referrals to the team?

Referrals can come from a range of professionals, such as paediatricians and CAMHS professionals. The person making the referral to SCAMP should ensure that parents and young people have had an opportunity to discuss whether they wish to go ahead with the assessment process and give consent to be referred to SCAMP.

The referrer will be responsible for gathering information from home and school about the child’s current difficulties with social communication, social interaction and evidence of any restrictive/repetitive behaviours that impact on daily life.


What happens during the assessment process?


Referrer collects information from home and pre-school/school/college about difficulties with social communication.


Members of the SCAMP team meet to look at the information to decide if:

  • Further information is needed to make a decision – the referrer will be asked to collect this information

  • There is enough information to start the assessment.

  • The information does not indicate that further assessment is currently necessary. At this point, other support will be recommended.


The team will decided which further assessments are needed which may include:

  • Interview with parents
  • Physical examination
  • Direct observation
  • Speech and language assessment
  • School-based assessment

All professionals involved with the young person meet to discuss assessment findings. They will decide if the young person meets the criteria for a diagnosis of autism and make a plan for ongoing support based on the young person’s strengths and needs


Parents will attend a feedback meeting to discuss the outcome of the assessment process


What happens after the assessment?

When we’ve gathered all this information, we will put it together into a written report. This report will summarise our understanding of your child’s needs and whether we feel they fit a pattern associated with Autism. We will send you the report in the post and give you the opportunity to add any comments or suggest changes. The final report will be sent out to everyone involved in your child’s care.

Whatever the outcome of the assessment, we will provide information to help you with ongoing support. You will be offered the opportunity to opt-in for a one-off follow up appointment with a member of the SCAMP team. This appointment will give you an opportunity to talk through the assessment results and ask questions about ongoing support.

Additional advice and support