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Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a part of CAMHS?

  • We are a pathway/team within the Doncaster Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. All referrals to us come through the Single Point of Access in Doncaster CAMHS.

What is the difference between a learning difficulty and learning disability?

  •  A learning disability is a combination of a significantly reduced intellectual ability and significant limitations in carrying out everyday activities often called significant limitations in adaptive behaviour– for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life. These problems are acquired before adulthood.
  • People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.
  • A learning difficulty is a focus on one aspect of learning such as reading and writing or maths.
  • Distinguishing between learning difficulties and learning disabilities is quite a complex issue. As described above, a learning difficulty does not affect general intelligence, whereas a learning disability is linked to an overall cognitive impairment and a combination of three separate criteria; intellectual functioning, adaptive functioning and acquired at a young age.

Why is your service called Intellectual Disabilities?

  • Intellectual Disability is the term used as a diagnosis in place of Learning Disability. The use of this term will not change the service provided to your child and you.

I want my child to be medicated/I have heard that this medicine can work for autism.


  • All children seen by the team will have a full assessment of their mental health needs. If this assessment shows that there is a psychiatric disorder that can be treated or helped by using medication, this will be discussed with you. Any use of medication will only be when it is needed, at a dose that is needed, and only for as long as is needed. In most cases, medication will only form a part of interventions to help with your child’s difficulties.
  • We understand that medication can be helpful, however as a quality standard we follow the Stomp Stamp initiative.

Stop and Stamp Leaflet

  • My child does not like meeting new people or attending appointments. How will you work with them?

We will take time to build a relationship with your child so they feel comfortable and safe. We will listen to you so we have a better understanding of you and your child’s current situation. We are experienced and skilled at engaging young people when they may be struggling emotionally or presenting with concerning behaviours.

How long will I have to wait to be seen?

  • We aim to be in contact within four weeks of receiving the referral to inform you on the next steps. If we identify the referral does not meet our criteria we will provide an explanation and signpost you to the appropriate service.

How long will it take for my child to be assessed and treated?

  • Once the referral is received, screened and accepted we will contact you to arrange an initial mental health assessment within the four weeks of receiving the referral. The assessment and treatment process depends on the nature of need and the treatment option required. We would discuss this in more detail with you once the initial mental health assessment is completed.

I know my child has autism and learning needs, but I think there must be something else wrong with him/her because he/she is so unlike other children with autism that I know?

  • Each child with autism and intellectual disability is unique and will present with different challenges. Our assessment will reveal if there is anything else that might be contributing to his/her behaviours that challenge.

School have asked if they can speak to CAMHS ID team about my child, what does this mean?

  • As a team we work closely with the special schools to try to help children and young people before they need psychiatric assistance. We go into schools on a regular basis and hold consultations where teachers can bring the names of pupils who are a cause for concern for them from an emotional/behavioural view. This may be because of an increased anxiety or a behaviour causing school and or parents concern. They must ask your permission to speak to us as your consent gives us the ok to put a note on your child’s files saying that we have offered advice. Sometimes we can offer advice and that is the end of the situation. Other times we may need to speak to you and offer to take on your child as a referral to work with school, home and the child to assist with a problem
  • We also run groups in schools to assist children with such things as Anxiety, Anger.  We do this in groups along a teacher or teaching assistant at times. This is to assist schools who are signed up to the whole school approach to positive wellbeing.

Do you offer training to parents?

  • We offer training to parents, school staff and other professionals. We offer parent courses such as the Solihull approach, 1 2 3 magic, understanding ASD and or ADHD. We can tailor training for groups alongside our expertise in mental health and learning disabilities.