A multi-disciplinary approach to autism assessment,
intervention and support for children
Caudwell Children provides a multi-disciplinary diagnostic assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder at its Caudwell Children’s International Centre in Staffordshire.
The Centre is purpose-built for children with autism and other disabilities. Since its 2018 launch, Caudwell Children have been offering a multi-disciplinary autism assessment and diagnosis for young children between the ages of 4 and 11. With state-of-the-art facilities and an experienced team of clinical professionals, Caudwell Children can provide a rapid ASD diagnosis that is either 100% charity (criteria-dependant) or self-funded.
What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can vary in presentation and severity.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests. This includes sensory behaviours, present since early childhood, to the extent that these limit and impair everyday functioning.
Although relatively narrow symptoms define autism, there are no two identical cases of autism. People with ASD can have different combinations of intellectual abilities, medical conditions, learning styles, and behavioural characteristics.
According to the British Medical Association (BMA), an estimated 700,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with autism. Additionally, one in 100 children in the UK has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
What happens during an autism assessment at Caudwell Children?
Caudwell Children’s experienced and dedicated clinical team works with families to undertake a holistic and child-centred evaluation of their strengths and difficulties, including behaviour, emotional health and well-being, communication and sensory processing needs.
We provide a two-day child-centred assessment delivered by our multi-disciplinary team. A parent or guardian has to attend.
During that time, our clinicians will assess the child by engaging them in different activities in order to determine if they are showing signs of autism.
As we take COVID-19 safety very seriously, we’re carrying out day one of the assessment remotely at the moment – via telephone or video conferencing software such as Zoom.
Day two of the assessment takes place at the Caudwell International Children’s Centre in Staffordshire. Our autism-friendly building is COVID- secure, ensuring your safety during your visit.
What happens after an autism assessment at Caudwell Children?
To help you get the most out of the assessment and feedback, we offer emotional and practical family support for 12 months from referral.
A feedback appointment will be made within 28 days of the assessment to provide individual feedback, discuss the findings and to talk through the report prepared. This will typically make recommendations for intervention and support.
You will also have access to a workshop programme, offering helpful strategies, practical advice and information.
Our Family Support team will maintain contact and review the outcomes of the recommendations with you to measure improvements.
How long does an autism assessment take at Caudwell Children?
An assessment provided by Caudwell Children takes place over two days. During that time, our clinicians will assess the child by engaging them in different assessments and activities. You will receive feedback within 28 days of our assessment being completed.
The Caudwell Children Clinical Team
Autism assessments are carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of qualified medical professionals, including:
Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Clinical Psychologists, Registered Learning Disability Nurses, Specialty Doctors, Assistants.
Caudwell International Children’s Centre (CICC)
The Caudwell International Children’s Centre has been purpose-built to provide an environment that meets the needs of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The design was developed over several years by the charity’s Chief Executive, Trudi Beswick, in consultation with children, parents/carers, clinicians and people with autism. The state-of-the-art facility was funded by the charity’s founder, Mr John Caudwell, and a group of individuals, businesses and organisations known as The Legacy Circle.
Autism diagnosis support
Families undergoing an assessment for ASD will receive:
- Family Support – 12 months of emotional and practical support for the family throughout the referral, assessment and post-diagnosis period.
- An individual feedback appointment following the assessment, a detailed report and recommendations for intervention and support.
- Intervention – Places for two people to attend two days of workshops which will provide parents/carers and/or their child with information, practical advice and helpful strategies.
- Information and advice – Signposting and support to relevant services and access to specialist information.
Criteria for ASD Assessment
All children from aged four years, up until the day before their 12th birthday at the time of referral who;
- Have difficulties that suggest they would benefit from a multi-disciplinary diagnostic assessment for autism.
- Already have an autism diagnosis and have difficulties that an Occupational Therapy Assessment might help.
- The child and family must be able to travel to CICC
- The child and family must be able to attend for two consecutive days for assessment.
- The family will commit to attending for feedback following the assessment.
Referral for autism assessment
Referrals for ASD assessment will be accepted with parental consent from any health, social care or education professional that knows the child well, ensuring that the family GP is aware of the referral.
Applying for funding
There are currently two funding routes available for children and their families to access the service:
- Charity funded
Please visit www.caudwellchildren.com/services/autism/ or telephone 0345 300 1348 for further details of the funding application process and eligibility criteria.
Applying for Caudwell Children's Autism Assessment Service
Referrals will be accepted with parental consent from any health, social care or education professional that knows the child well, ensuring that the family GP is aware of the referral. If you are an Education Health or Social Care Professional, please click the button below to be directed to our Autism Service application form.
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. (The National Autistic Society 2017)
The diagnostic assessment and intervention will take place at the Caudwell International Children’s Centre, Keele, Staffordshire.
Initially the service is designed to support children and families with ASD but as a centre for neurodevelopmental disorders we will be looking to extend what we can provide in the future.
Our workshops are available to families with a child who is either diagnosed with an ASD or is under investigation for the same.
The complex profile of behaviours associated with demand avoidance is recognised as occurring within the autism spectrum.
CCAS will provide support to children who are identified as having difficulties which suggest they would benefit from a comprehensive multidisciplinary diagnostic assessment for autism spectrum disorder.
CCAS will also provide support to children who already have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and have difficulties that might be helped by specialist workshops or an Occupational Therapy and Sensory Assessment.
CCAS will provide support to children who are identified as having difficulties which suggest they would benefit from a comprehensive multidisciplinary diagnostic assessment for autism spectrum disorder. CCAS will also provide support to children who already have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and have difficulties that might be helped by specialist workshops or an Occupational Therapy Assessment.
Our assessment and diagnosis service follows National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. We will be liaising with local authorities and other statutory services but ultimately this decision lies with the individual local authority or statutory provider.
Referrals will be accepted with parental consent from any health, social care or education professional that knows the child well, ensuring that the family GP is aware of the referral.
Families do not need a formal referral in order to attend the workshop programme. They can apply themselves.
Families can only self-refer for the workshop programmes.
Referrals will be accepted with parental consent from any health, social care or education professional that knows the child well for the ASD assessment.
Families can apply for support for funding from Caudwell Children but will need to meet the charity eligibility criteria.
Funding, if supported, will be for 80% of the total cost, therefore families will need to contribute the remaining 20%.
Families can apply for support for funding from Caudwell Children but will need to meet the charity eligibility criteria. Funding, if supported, will be for 100% of the total cost.
Caudwell Children funding eligibility criteria can be found on our website. Families can apply for funding if they have an annual income less than £45,000 gross.
All referrals will be reviewed by the clinical team on a weekly basis and families will be notified of the outcome as soon as there is sufficient information to make a decision.
For referrals that meet the clinical eligibility criteria, families will then need to advise us on how they will be funding their assessment or workshop places. Families applying for a donation from the charity will need to complete an application form and complete the funding application process before an appointment is arranged.
Once a referral has been accepted by the team, an appointment will be offered only when funding is agreed and in place. For those families applying for funding support from the charity, this typically takes 2-3 months to arrange