Our Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment Team (ASDAT) offers a specialist assessment and diagnosis service for children under the age of 18.
What is autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong condition that affects a child/young person’s social communication and interaction skills. A child with ASD is likely to see and understand the world differently to their peers and struggle with certain social aspects of life. Please watch the short ‘Amazing Things Happen’ video below for more information on what autism is.
For further information about autism, please visit:
How to request an assessment?
Parents/carers: If you believe that your child/young person may have autism or you are worried about their social communication skills, you should discuss this with their health visitor, school nurse or GP. If your child attends a nursery or school, then you should also discuss this with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCo).
An Early Help Assessment (EHA) should then be initiated by a professional working with you. The EHA plays an important part of addressing your child/young person’s needs. It helps identify what strengths and difficulties a your child may be having, what additional support (if any) is needed and who would be the best person to offer this support as well as collating relevant evidence to support the need for an assessment.
Professionals: Please complete the Autism Assessment Team Referral form, on the resources for professionals page. This is a two-part referral and requires information from yourself and from nursery/school.
Parents/carers cannot self-refer to the autism assessment team.
What are the criteria for referral?
- The child should be registered with a Barnsley GP.
- The child / young person is under the age of 18 – if you are about to turn 18, please contact us to discuss this before submitting a referral.
- An Early Help Assessment (EHA) must be active and reasonable time allowed to fully address the child’s needs. The need for a referral to ASDAT should be identified in the EHA review once other causes for the difficulties have been ruled out. What is early help?
- The family give written consent to the referral being made and to the data sharing agreement – Verbal consent cannot be accepted.
What does the assessment process involve?
- Your child is likely to be seen in a Social Communication Clinic by a Community Paediatrician.
- Supporting evidence will be sourced from other professionals, including school to form part of the assessment. We will normally request an assessment from a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist which normally takes place in the school setting for primary age children.
- Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting and feedback meeting.
- Post diagnosis follow-up appointment and then discharged from the assessment pathway.
For more information about each of these steps, please see our Patient Information Leaflet entitled ‘Understanding the Autism Assessment Process for Children (0-18yrs)’ in the resource section of this page.
Is the assessment compulsory?
No – If you feel that your child does not need to be assessed or if you feel the outcome will make no difference to your child’s development, then you do not have to have an assessment. Some children cope well without the need for a diagnosis.
Autism is a life long diagnosis therefore it is important to consider what this diagnosis could mean in the long term for young people who are moving into adulthood rather than focusing on just the hear and now.
Looking for additional support?
Sorry, we do not offer an autism support service, only assessment and diagnosis. If you need support before, during or after your child’s assessment you can speak to your EHA Lead, SENCo or the person who made the referral for assessment. They can help you identify which service would best help address your child/young person’s difficulties. We also have some useful links in the resources section of our website.
Barnsley Family Information Services is also a fantastic service who hold a database of all local information, services, groups and events:
They can offer information to families on:
- early help, family support and family centres
- local and national services including support groups, organisations, charities, local activities and things to do
- short breaks for children with disabilities, including help to apply for a short break and identify a suitable provider
- childcare, including how to access funded childcare places for two-year olds in receipt of DLA
- accessing health, social care, and education services for your child
- the Children’s Disability Register
- brokering service for parents/carers of children with disabilities looking for childcare
You may want to take a look at the parent resource section of this website.
Autism Assessment Team
New Street Health Centre
Upper New Street
Barnsley, S70 1LP
T: 01226 644876 (option 1)