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ND assessment – school aged children

This page provides information for neurodevelopmental (Autism and/or ADHD) assessment and diagnosis in Leeds for school aged children and young people.

Autism and/or ADHD assessments for school and college aged children are carried out by the CAMHS service and are called ‘Neurodevelopmental Assessments’. This assessment may be for Autism, ADHD, or both at the same time. When both Autism and ADHD are assessed for at the same time is called a ‘dual assessment’. More information about Autism and ADHD can be found in the Understanding Neurodiversity section.

What Next?

If the school/educational setting has put all of the appropriate support in place for your child and they are still facing significant challenges, you can ask them to refer your child for a Neurodevelopmental (ND) Assessment. They do this by sending a referral to MindMate Single Point of Access (MindMate SPA) – a mental health triage service for children and young people in Leeds. After your child’s school contacts MindMate SPA, a clinician may phone you for a telephone consultation about your child.

If your child is already being offered by support from another team within CAMHS, you can discuss your concerns with the clinician working with your child. If you are unsure who to speak to, you can contact the CAMHS duty team on 0113 843 2710. After talking to you, the clinician may make a referral for a Neurodevelopmental Assessment.

You can also refer your child/yourself for an autism/ADHD assessment if school are not able to, however, it is recommended that schools complete the referral where possible. See the section below, on who can refer, for more information.

The assessment is a process of gathering information about your child and for the team to make sense of your child’s profile, including their strengths and areas of difficulty.  Whether or not a diagnosis is given, the assessment focuses on your child’s individual needs and will make tailored recommendations on that basis.

The assessment process

The assessment is a process of gathering information about your child, their development as they’ve grown up, their strengths, needs and challenges. Whether or not a diagnosis is given, the assessment focuses on your child’s individual needs and circumstances and tailored recommendations will be made on that basis.

Below, you can see the typical assessment process once you reach the top of the waiting list and are invited for your assessment. Some families and young people may be anxious about coming to the appointment. But don’t worry – our team are experienced in working with diverse needs and high anxiety levels and we’ll do our best to make the assessment process as comfortable as possible.

I’ve been told my assessment will be completed by Clinical Partners – what does this mean?

There is exceptionally high demand for Neurodevelopmental Assessments, and Leeds CAMHS doesn’t have the resources to carry out every assessment. To meet this need we partner with an independent service called Clinical Partners who carry out Autism and ADHD assessments to the same standards.

If your child’s assessment is to be carried out by Clinical Partners, we’ll discuss this option with you. You have the right to choose, and if you’d rather stay with Leeds CAMHS for the assessment, that can be arranged.

Supporting your child’s neurodevelopmental condition

All children and families will be guided towards the appropriate mental health and wellbeing services as appropriate – usually outside CAMHS. Mental health and wellbeing will be considered as part of the assessment process and the need for ongoing support will be discussed during your feedback meeting.

Finding your way to the right support can be daunting – we have made some ‘diagnostic feedback packs’ that will be shared you, with your report, if your child is given a formal diagnosis of Autism and/or ADHD. These can also be found below. This will give you more detailed information on any diagnoses given and point you towards organisations who offer support.

Just been given a diagnosis of Autism/ ADHD?

See detailed recommendations and support information for school-aged children and young people here.

Find out more information

Get support

You can find a range of national and local support services in the Get Support section of the hub.

Go to the get support page

Leeds Local Offer

The Leeds Local Offer website is a directory of information and services for parents and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

We provide more information about this in our educational setting page.

Go to website

ADHD diagnosis

For children and young people with an ADHD diagnosis, there are treatment options available within CAMHS. Parents/carers will be invited to a group session to learn more about ADHD and discuss treatment options. Depending on the impact of your child’s symptoms, medication for ADHD may be a considered.

The medication prescribed for most young people with ADHD is called Methylphenidate. We offer a consultation in the first instance to talk about your child’s needs and assess whether medication is the best solution. It isn’t for everyone.

Before starting medication, you will have to have tried all the other strategies available such as support from the school, and any recommendations from your feedback appointment and diagnostic report. More information about Methylphenidate can be found in the below leaflet.

The waiting times can be long for medication – this is something we are working on. You’ll be given information about how long you can expect to wait when you’re referred to the medication clinic.

Methylphenidate for ADHD

Find out more information about Methylphenidate use in ADHD by reading this leaflet.

Download leaflet

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