What is Community Paediatrics?
Community Paediatrics offers a specialist diagnostic service for children with significant developmental difficulties/significant Special Educational Needs (SEND) which are likely to be life long and will have a significant impact on that child’s ability to access and participate in aspects of daily living. The children referred to Community Paediatrics should have the greatest level of need and it would be expected that other professionals will already have been involved in supporting the child and their family.
What types of diagnosis do Community Paediatrics support with?
Community Paediatrics complete neurodevelopmental assessments for conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder/Condition (ASD/ASC), attention and hyperactivity issues (ADHD) and significant developmental delays and learning difficulties. The children referred to Community Paediatrics should have the greatest level of need, and would need to meet the thresholds and criteria detailed in the Community Paediatrics referral information document.
I think my child has ASD or ADHD - what do I do?
If you have concerns that your child may have a neurodevelopmental condition, you should speak to your child's class teacher in the first instance. All class teachers are aware of the Community Paediatrics assessment pathway and will be able to discuss this with you and where you child currently sits within this.
It might be that the teacher can reassure you that what you are seeing in your child is within the usual development for your child's age, or they might suggest strategies that can be put in place either at home or at school to support further. This level of support is known as universal and means that your child's needs can be met with the provisions ordinarily available. Unfortunately, school are not usually able to put support in place for behaviours or difficulties that they do not see in the school setting. If this is the case, you will be signposted to appropriate at-home support.
Usually, a child who may have ASD or ADHD has already been identified as requiring above universal support within the classroom and will be receiving additional support following the graduated approach. This is the level of support in which the SENDCo becomes involved, supporting the teacher in implementing strategies to support the child. A child displaying ASD or ADHD tendencies can be supported through our inclusive practices and will often not require more than this.
There are lots of local and national support organisations for parents to access - please see the Support for Parents section for these.
I want my child diagnosed - how do I do this?
An assessment for ASD, ADHD or other neurodevelopmental conditions will only be sought by school for children who meet the threshold criteria that Community Paediatrics set and are on the 'pathway' for this. This is a lengthy process and is not a guarantee that the child will meet the final criteria for assessment. Details of this can be found in the documents at the bottom of this page.
A child must have significant developmental difficulties which are likely to be lifelong and will have a significant impact on that child's ability to access and participate in aspects of daily living to be referred to Community Paediatrics. Only children with the greatest level of need and who have had previous professional involvement will be considered for referral. This is in line with the expectations of Community Paediatrics.
As a school, we can appreciate how frustrating it may be to not be able to access an assessment for your child. We would like to reassure you that we are an inclusive school, who do our upmost to support the children in our care. We have a robust system of support throughout the school, which is regularly reviewed and we are always keen to improve our practices. We are able to support parents in various ways and our staff are keen to have a collaborative approach with parents and carers.