Assessment and diagnosis process for children with Autism

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) recommend that a range of professionals should be involved in assessment. An assessment should include a history of the individual, clinical observation, and a speech, language and communication assessment. If relevant, involvement from Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy should also be considered.

If the child is at pre-school stage, the GP, health visitor or nursery staff can refer them to an early assessment team which will include a number of professionals from health and education. Parents can also self-refer to the early assessment team, and a paediatrician will always be involved in an ASD assessment for a pre-school child.

Children between the ages of 5 and 18 can be referred to Forth Valley Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for assessment. This referral must be made by a multi-professional team, school, Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist and at the parent’s request through the child’s GP or Health Practitioner.

Teachers can refer a child to ASN (Additional Support Needs) for support at school. The Additional Support Needs teaching team may also offer support at home for pre-school children. Services working with children under the age of 3 who have a diagnosis of ASD are obliged to notify education that the child has been identified as having a disability under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004.

If you are struggling to get a referral for your child, the NHS website has a range of information to assist you. For more information visit Autism Diagnosis for Children NHS Choices. Add link

Visit Autism Diagnosis for Children NHS Choices for more information.