Autism Spectrum Conditions

Kirklees Autism Assessment Team – Who We Are

The team has a wealth of experience working with children and young people up to the age of 18 years, who have complex social and communication difficulties.

Our team includes the following professionals:
• Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
• Clinical Psychologists
• Speech & Language Therapists
• Mental Health Practitioners
• Assistant Psychologists

Referrals to the team are made by Speech and Language Therapists, Paediatricians, SENCOs or Educational Psychologists.

 

What is Autism?

Once a child has been referred to our service they will be added to our waiting list for an assessment. At this point there is a possibility that they have an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).

Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how people perceive the world around them and how they communicate and interact with others.

Autism is a ‘spectrum condition’. This means that although all autistic people share certain difficulties, being autistic affects them in different ways. All people on the spectrum learn and develop and with the correct support they can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.

Not all young people who are assessed are diagnosed with autism. There are other diagnoses that we consider to find what is appropriate for each individual. If this is the case we will recommend the next steps and how best you can help your child.

Some people who have autism also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions.

There are also a large range of other reasons why people can experience social and communication difficulties. For example, other disorders such as dyspraxia, Language Disorder or attachment disorder.  Our team completes in-depth assessments to consider all these possibilities.

Having an assessment will identify what strengths and weaknesses they may have and how those can be supported at home and school and address any concerns. Most importantly, it can help your child understand their differences and navigate the world around them. An autism diagnosis will also help young people access to resources in the local area to support them in learning and socialising.

 

The assessment process

What do we look for in our assessments

 

Support available for families, children and young people

Children’s Emotional Wellbeing Service (ChEWS): Works with children aged 5-18 offering short term interventions where emotional needs are impacting on their day to day lives.

Speech and Language Therapy: Work with children with language and communication difficulties.  Parents and carers can refer directly.

Kirklees Complex Social Communication Outreach Service – Work with schools, families and individuals who have a diagnosis of autism or are on the waiting list for an assessment. A referral to the service can be made via your child’s school.

PCAN: An independent, parent-led forum in Kirklees for all parents and carers of children and young people with additional needs aged from birth to 25 years.

The Whole Autism Family: A voluntary support group formed by parents, with all money they raise going directly into supporting families affected by autism.  Contact: 07564 256626 or info@thewholeautismfamily.co.uk

Dewsbury and District Autism Support Group: A social help group  for anyone who is in close contact with a child or young person on the autism spectrum and other associated conditions. Provide social interaction, activities and support to children with autism, young people and their parents/carers and siblings. They also support those that do not have a diagnosis but still show these traits. Contact enquires@ddas.org.uk

The Huddersfield Support Group for Autism (HSGA): Aims to offer help and advice to families living with autism, including Asperger’s syndrome and pathological demand avoidance syndrome (PDA). A confirmed diagnosis of ASD is not needed to join the group.

Cerebra UK: Provide sleep support to any family who have a child aged 0-16 with autism or other neurological conditions, development delays or learning difficulties – or who are awaiting an assessment. Telephone – 01267 244200 or 0800328 1159 – enquiries@cerebra.org.uk

The National Autistic Society Autism Helpline: Information and advice for young people who are autistic, or family members or carers of someone on the autism spectrum – telephone: 0808 800 4104.

The National Autistic Society Parent to Parent line: UK-wide confidential telephone service providing emotional support to parents and carers of children or adults with autism – telephone 0808 800 4106