BCHC staff with child and parent image




The NDP team assesses children and young people for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Autism Assessments

You can expect the following to happen during and after your child’s autism assessment.


The assessment may include:

  • reports from all settings (e.g. school, nursery)
  • autism specific developmental and family history
  • Social communication assessment (e.g. ADOS/Virtual/Group/1 to 1)
  • observations in more than one setting (e.g. school visit, depending on assessment)


The team should explain the reason for each test or assessment. You should be given plenty of time to ask questions. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for a more detailed explanation.



What assessments does the NDP offer for ASD?

If your child is assessed via the NDP team the following will be undertaken;

Each child's assessment will be made up of a number of different meetings. These may include:

  • observations - children and young people are assessed in a range of environments, which may include the children's school or another setting. The type of assessment offered will be specific to your child's needs and may be face-to-face or virtual. The NDP Team will advise the best assessment type for your child.
  • information gathering - we will collect information from parents/carers, schools and other settings, any key professionals and, depending on age, we may also gather information directly from the child;
  • further assessments - these may include exploring other explanations for your child's presentation as, wherever possible, we will aim to provide an understanding of a child's needs even if this is found not to be autism.





You may need to travel to one of the following child development centres (CDC’s) for a clinic appointment.


We will try to book you in at your nearest site if possible.



Which professionals will be involved in an assessment?

Every child will have the core group of professionals involved in their assessment outlined in current NICE guidelines but they may not see/meet all of them.

A child's assessment may, therefore, include an number of different professionals, including:

  • speech and language therapist
  • community paediatrician
  • psychologist
  • occupational therapist
  • clinical co-ordinator
  • clinical assistant
  • specialist nurse


There may also be non-NHS professionals working with yout child, such as their school SENCo, educational psychologist, teacher/early years teacher or communication and autism team, with whom we will work closely.


What happens after the assessment?

When the assessment is complete, professionals meet for a discussion - a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting. A decision will be made at this meeting and outcomes may include:

  • There is sufficient evidence to determine that a diagnosis of ASD is given at this time - diagnosis agreed.
  • There is insufficient evidence to determine that a diagnosis of ASD is given at this time - diagnosis not given.
  • We feel a child needs more time to continue developing emerging skills, with agreed strategies of support before a decision can be reached.


If we feel we have found an alternative or differential explanation for a child's difficulties, we will provide this outcome also.


Families will receive a feedback call from a professional to share the outcome and this will be shared with the child's family and agreed professionals.


Following the feedback call, families will receive a report detailing the assessment and confirming the outcome.


Where indicated, we will provide a plan/advice and/or a programme of activities for you to complete with your child at home. In some cases, additional advice may be given to your child's nursery or school.


Your child will then be discharged from the pathway and there will be no further intervention unless this is indicated to you by a member of the team. We also aim to provide signposting and post-diagnostic support from our partners if this is possible and available.


Once the report has been received, families will be offered the opportunity for a follow-up discussion.


If you are waiting for a new or a follow up appointment and you are concerned about your child’s health, or if there has been significant deterioration in your child’s behaviour, please contact your GP, call 111 or 999 if an emergency. 

Our patients and their carers and families are the reason we're here, so we want to hear your views about the Trust and our services.