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Neurodevelopmental Assessment Pathway

Our main aim at this time is to support you through this difficult time. Therefore, we want to  reassure you that our main objective is to continue to provide a neurodevelopmental assessment service for children and young people in Rotherham within government guidelines.

At this time the Coronavirus is having an ever growing impact on our staffing levels and the way we are offering our service. Currently we will be starting the assessments by offering families the choice of the initial and developmental appointments over the telephone. If you do not choose this option you have the choice of remaining where you are on our waiting list, until we resume face to face appointments again. Following the telephone assessments, the overall neurodevelopmental assessment will be paused and additional components of the assessment such as observations and meeting the child will be resumed in line with government guidance.

Rotherham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provide a specialist assessment for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The assessment will look at all your child’s strengths and weaknesses to provide a full developmental profile. We may also assess their cognition and learning ability and their functional skills. As part of this assessment we aim to gather as much information to help with our assessment; this will include liaising with school and any other professionals involved.

What is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder describes a set of specific strengths and difficulties that may affect how your child learns, communicates and builds relationships with others. It is a life-long condition and it affects how your child makes sense of the world around them.  Whilst two children may have similar difficulties their ASD may also affect them in very different ways. Please find below a link to the National Autistic Society for more information

The National Autistic Society website has more information on what Autism is and provides useful information and tips for various factors, such as communication, behaviour, Education, transition and adult life. The website provides information on their services, for example their specialist schools, support in mainstream schools, community support, home and work life support. There is also information on conferences and training events for professionals.

National Autistic Society

What is an Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD)?

If your child has ADHD they may have lots of energy and find it difficult to concentrate. They may get distracted very easily and find it hard to control their speech and actions. ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. Symptoms often become noticeable between the ages of 3-7 years.

A related condition ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) has similar difficulties however it doesn’t involve constant movement and fidgeting and the main problem is a difficulty concentrating.

The ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity website has more information on what ADHD is and provides useful resources and tips to help parents and carers, and young people understand and cope with an ADHD diagnosis. The website also provides links to training courses and other events for families, teachers and other professionals.

ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity

Referral for a neurodevelopmental assessment

Who can refer?

This has now changed (from June 2021) and we will only accept referrals from schools/settings (unless the child/young person is electively home educated – please contact us in these instances to discuss). We believe the best approach for referral into the service is for schools and parents to work together to complete the referral pack. We no longer accept referrals from GP’s. If a Paediatrician would like to refer a child, they would need to liaise with the school to make this referral.

What is needed to make a referral?

We require the referral packs to be completed. This includes a parent/carer and young person’s pack and a school/setting pack. Both packs must be submitted for the referral to be accepted. If parents or young person require support to complete the pack, then we would encourage school and the young person’s setting to support them with this.

Download Parent and Young Person Pack by clicking on the link (please ensure you save your document)

Download  School Pack by clicking on the link (please ensure you save your document)

With all referrals – If would be helpful for a copy of the child’s SEN support plan be provided

Additionally, if the young person is 17yr old + and your main concerns are associated with social communication difficulties then please complete the AQ10 below. Please note that due to high levels of referrals they may be transferred to the adult service and assessed at 18yrs old.

Click here to download the AQ10 form 

The completed referral packs will then need to be emailed to by school

On receipt of the fully completed referral pack, the Social and Emotional Wellbeing Panel will screen these to assess whether further neurodevelopmental assessment is appropriate.


When we receive a referral, we must consider whether the information that is shared suggests that the individual may have a neurodevelopmental difference. We have recently made some changes to our pathway so that our referrals are now looked at by a multi-agency team that includes a member of the neurodevelopmental pathway along with representatives from Rotherham’s Educational Psychology Service and Specialist Inclusion Team, Speech and Language Therapy and the Children’s Disability Team. This allows for more detailed information and a range of perspectives allowing for a more holistic interpretation.  We take lots of factors into account, including the information that is sent in by parents/carers and staff in settings. If we feel that we need more information to decide, we will always aim to seek this out. If it is felt that an assessment to explore a neurodevelopmental difference is needed you will be placed on a waiting list for an assessment. There are occasions where it is felt that there may be alternative explanations for the needs that an individual is displaying. In these situations, our team will aim to provide suggestions and advice about what next steps may be helpful.

Furthermore, we appreciate that children and families are waiting a long time before they are seen for an assessment and so we will also try to provide recommendations of other services, websites or strategies that can support you and school whilst you are waiting.

Our assessment includes the following:

1. Initial meeting

An initial meeting will be held with your child and family to discuss concerns and to gather information on family background, medical information and details of who we can contact to get more information. We will also discuss any risky or challenging behaviours your child might be displaying. At this point we might discuss if there are any other agencies or pathways within CAMHS that may be able to support you and your child.

At the end of this meeting we will agree a care plan with you around what future assessments will be required.

2. 2nd Meeting with Parents and Caregivers

This is a meeting with parents/caregivers to complete a detailed developmental history. This involves asking questions about our children early years, toddlerhood and when they were at primary school. We will also ask you questions about their current behaviours.

If you have any past reports or your child’s ‘baby record book’ it may be helpful to bring copies along to the appointment.

3. Schools and Professionals

We will liaise with your child’s school and any other professionals involved in their care.

We will observe your child in a education setting (please be aware this may not occur with every child).

4. Assessments and Questionnaires

We will complete an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). This is a play based observation assessment completed with the child.

Finally we may complete standardised questionnaires and psychometric assessments with your child. These tests may include a cognitive assessment and tests to explore various facets of attention.

5. Multi-disciplinary Team Discussion

Once the assessment process is complete all the information is carefully considered by the multi-disciplinary team. This team may include a clinical psychologist, an assistant psychologist, a nurse and/or a specialist CAMHS practitioner or a psychiatrist. The team will develop an understanding of your child’s strengths difficulties, which may or may not include a diagnostis.

6. How we Feedback?

Your family will be invited to a feedback appointment to discuss the outcome of the assessment and the next steps. In some cases, there may be a role for continues support with CAMHS, for example where mental health concerns have been identified or medication needs to be prescribed. In these cases, the child will be referred to the most appropriate care pathway.

A report of the full assessment will be provided so that families and professionals have a copy of the information on which decisions have been based.


Find out about resources, services, support, activities and events for Rotherham’s children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Rotherham Local SEND offer

Healios Digital Assessment

In Rotherham we know that families are waiting too long for their assessment. This is reflected in other areas across the country. NHS partners are working together to understand the current high demand for ASD diagnosis. As part of the ASD diagnosis process, NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (RCCG) has asked Healios to work with RDaSH, the current provider, to offer an option of online diagnosis where this is appropriate for the individual, based on need.

Healios Autism Assessment Leaflet


What happens after I have been diagnosed?

Once the Neurodevelopmental assessment process is completed, a referral will be made to the ADHD Post Diagnosis Team. An initial appointment with your child / parent or carer will be offered where we will discuss your/your child’s ADHD diagnosis and create a holistic treatment plan that addresses psychological, behavioural and educational needs.

We will advise you by offering and signposting you to education and information on the causes and impact of ADHD along with additional resources and strategies. ADHD and behavioural strategies will be offered through the 123 magic parenting programme. With consent, the team will also liaise with your child’s school or college and offer classroom strategies if required. Medication will be offered if ADHD symptoms are causing a persistent significant impairment after strategies have been implemented and environmental adjustments have been made.

During the first appointment, the CAMHS nurse may need to take your child’s height, weight and blood pressure as a baseline measurement. If medication is started your child will visit the CAMHS ADHD clinic every 3-6 months to be reviewed.

What happens once I turn 18?

When you/your child turns 17, the ADHD CAMHS nurse will begin to discuss the process of ‘transition’ to the adult service. This involves an appointment with the CAMHS ADHD nurse to discuss a collaborative and person-centred plan of care with you and your parent/carer. This appointment will include what to expect from the adult service, where you can find it and who your new worker will be.

The last appointment will be a joint appointment with your CAMHS ADHD nurse and the Adult ADHD Nurse. This appointment will be led by the Adult ADHD Nurse but your CAMHS ADHD nurse will be there to support you.

Links to further information

Family LivesThe Family Lives website has advice & information for parents at every stage of a child’s life – Early Years Development, Primary and Secondary Education, Teenagers and Bullying. Specifically, they have a section on SEND which provides information and advice about Special Educational Needs, along with sleep advice and fun things to do. They also have confidential helplines, forums, parenting advice videos and online parenting courses.

Family Lives

ADHD and YouThis website explains the symptoms and causes of ADHD, how ADHD affects the brain, co-existing conditions and positive traits. It has a section around living with ADHD and an overview of this at each stage in life (childhood, adolescence and adulthood).

ADHD and You

Young MindsYoung Minds provides free, relevant, practical information about a range of mental health issues in children and young people. It has information about feelings and symptoms, conditions and looking after yourself. It also has some specific information about self-harm and what to do about self-harm.

Young Minds

Mind EdFree educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for adults, but can also be really useful for teenagers. It covers lot of topics.


Help for children and young people – gives specific advice for different types of worries.