Assessments with Us
Prior to an assessment, we often send out several documents to be completed by parents/guardians and educational settings. This helps us to have the most up to date information prior to our assessment. If the young person has had any other assessments carried out by a professional, it is helpful for this to be shared with us.
Details of the clinician you will meet can be found in your appointment letter. You can find information about our clinicians on our ‘Meet the Team’ webpage.
Please click the headings below to find out more about our assessment process:
Coventry Preschool Autism Service
When we do an autism assessment, we need to know how your child is getting on at home and nursery/education setting. If they have had assessments by other professionals, we would like to see their reports.
During your child's assessment, you will be asked about your family, the physical and mental health of family members and whether your child has had any traumatic experiences. Some parents find this difficult, but it is important that we know about issues which could have affected your child's development. If you want to talk about this without your child hearing the discussion, please mention it when you come to us for your first appointment, and we will arrange a suitable time with you to discuss it.
At each stage it will be decided if your child meets the criteria for an autism assessment through discussion with members of our team, which include a Speech and Language Therapist, Paediatrician, Health Visitor and, if appropriate, Occupational Therapist and education support services depending on your child's needs. It may be decided that your child needs some intervention, for example around behaviour or sleep, or a referral to another service first before progressing to the next assessment phase.
Assessment phase 1 – Your child’s Health visitor or childcare provider will carry out a developmental screen and if appropriate a 'Wellcomm' language screen. They will talk to you about the concerns you have about your child's development.
Assessment phase 2 - Your child's appointment with the Speech and Language Therapist will be in clinic, nursery or home. They will assess your child's communication skills and provide you with advice and strategies on how you can support your child. There may need to be a follow-up session to see if there has been any progress. This information will be shared with the team to decide if your child meets the criteria for an autism assessment.
Assessment phase 3 - Once all the information has been collected from the team of professionals and they feel your child meets the criteria for assessment a Paediatrician will be allocated to complete the child’s assessment.
Warwickshire Preschool Autism Service
The Warwickshire Preschool Autism Service is a specialist service consisting of a highly skilled multidisciplinary team responsible for the assessment and diagnosis of Autism. It works closely with education and other support services. The team includes Clinical Psychologists, Specialist Speech and Language Therapists, Neurodevelopmental Practitioners and we also work alongside Paediatricians.
Assessment is a multidisciplinary approach and always includes information from different professionals. The professionals involved will depend on your child’s needs but will be led by one person. Your child’s assessment will include:
- A medical assessment by a Paediatrician
- A detailed developmental history
- Information about their behaviour, interactions skills and development in all environments including home and nursery
- Observations of their play and interactions
Both of our Preschool services offer following support.
Pre assessment - Whilst you wait for an assessment, you can watch the pre-assessment parent education presentation. This has been written and recorded by professionals with many years' experience of working with neurodiverse children and gives top tips on supporting your child. This session has had many positive reviews by parents and carers.
When you open the PowerPoint, please click on the sound icon on each slide to hear the presentation.
Pre-assessment Parent Education Session - Preschool Age
Whilst waiting for an assessment we provide a telephone appointment clinic where you can discuss specific developmental, behavioural concerns with a Neurodevelopmental Practitioner who will give advice and suggest strategies or signpost you to other helpful services on a 1:1 basis.
Contact telephone number for a duty call: 02476 961226
Following your child’s assessment you can still access duty calls. We also recommend you watch the Preschool Autism Post Diagnosis videos. Please find these videos on Recommended resources | CAMHS (cwrise.com)
Coventry Preschool Autism Service: 02476 961092
Warwickshire Preschool Autism Service: 0300 303 1255
We meet with parents/guardians to discuss the young persons’ development from pregnancy to present day and explore their historical and current difficulties. We also explore family history including significant life events including any traumatic experiences and family medical history. Some parents/guardians may find this difficult, but it is important to have a clear understanding of the young person’s experiences in order to conclude our assessment. The young person is welcome to attend this appointment if it is felt this is appropriate. This appointment lasts approximately 1 hour to 1 ½ hours.
This appointment is an opportunity to get to know the young person. We talk about their interests, what they find difficult, their friendships and emotions. The appointment is not a test, and there are no right or wrong answers. This appointment lasts approximately 1 hour.
Sometimes, we may need further information to form our conclusion as to whether a diagnosis is appropriate. We may request additional appointments with parents/guardians or the young person.
In this appointment we discuss the outcome of the assessment. This appointment is typically for parents/guardians however the young person is welcome to attend. The clinician will explain the reasons for their outcome and talk through any further next steps. This is an opportunity for parents/guardians and the young person to ask questions and receive tailored support. After this final appointment, a report will be sent out detailing the information gathered during the assessment, the outcome and helpful resources.
We meet with parents/guardians to discuss the young persons’ development from pregnancy to present day and explore their historical and current difficulties. We also explore family history including significant life events including any traumatic experiences and family medical history. Some parents/guardians may find this difficult, but it is important to have a clear understanding of the young person’s experiences in order to conclude our assessment. We also get to know the young person. We talk about their interests, what they find difficult, their friendships and emotions. The appointment is not a test, and there are no right or wrong answers.
Following the screening appointment, the clinician will review the information gathered and will discuss next steps with parents/guardians. A report will be sent out detailing the information gathered during the assessment, next steps and helpful resources.
If it is felt that we think ADHD could be a suitable diagnosis to help understand the young person’s difficulties, we will make a referral to the psychiatry team. The assessing clinicians are not able to give a formal diagnosis of ADHD. Once the referral has been made, the psychiatry team will review the information provided and will offer a face-to-face appointment if they also feel that a diagnosis of ADHD is appropriate. We are unfortunately not able to provide a timeframe for when appointments with psychiatry may take place.
Sometimes it is difficult to be sure whether a child has autism, even after these appointments. If we need a more detailed look at your child's social interaction, we will need to request an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) assessment carried out in a clinic setting. You can watch the video below as Claire Rowbury talks about what is involved during the Children’s Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule assessment.
Helpful Information for Appointments
Online Assessment appointment
We offer most of our assessment appointments online via a platform called ‘Attend Anywhere’. Please watch the video below for how to use ‘Attend Anywhere’ platform.
You may find following documents helpful:
If you would find it difficult to attend an online appointment, please let us know and we will try our best to offer an alternative approach, based on your individual needs and the capacity of the service at the time. The Trust is committed to providing full access to those with disabilities or additional needs.
Face to Face Appointments
Sometimes, we may need to see child/young person and their parents/guardian in person at one of our clinics. We have created a document below which may help you and your child/young person while planning to come for an appointment.
We will upload a photo walkthrough of our other clinic sites soon.
We aim to be accessible to all individuals that access our service, if you require an interpreter for your assessment, please contact the team (see ‘ Contact Us ’ page).
If you require support whilst waiting for an assessment, our telephone clinics are designed for parents/guardians to discuss any concerns and receive tailored advice from our team. If you would like to book into a telephone appointment, please contact our team (see ‘Contact Us’ page).
As a service, we aim to be accessible to all experiences, backgrounds and differences. If you feel there are alternative arrangements, we could make to support you to access our material, please contact the team by phone. Contact numbers can be found under ‘Contact Us’ tab.