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Who we are
Our Neurodevelopment Pathway Team works with children and young people with complex neurodevelopmental difficulties, who require a multi-agency assessment to gain a better understanding of their needs.
This process can lead to a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, global developmental delay and difficulties with attachment.
Who is our service for?
Our service is for children and young people up to the age of 18 years old who are registered with a St Helens GP and require a multi-agency neurodevelopmental pathway assessment.
We work in partnership with a range of health and social care professionals and schools. This includes, but is not limited to – GPs, community paediatrics, paediatric speech and language, occupational therapy, Addvanced Solutions, education psychology, child and adolescent mental health services, and schools.
We accept referrals from all professionals who work with children and young people including GPs, paediatricians, speech and language therapists, schools etc.
If you know a child or young person who would benefit from a multi-agency pathway assessment please make an appointment with your school’s specialist educational needs coordinator (SENCo), GP or other professional who can discuss this with you.
Alternatively you can contact the team directly and we can discuss the best option to refer your child.
Once we receive your referral we will list the child for discussion at our weekly multiagency triage meeting; following this we will be in touch as soon as possible to share conclusions and next steps with you.
Making a referral to the team
Referrals should be made using the neurodevelopment pathway team referral form which must be completed in full and jointly by the professional and the parent/carer before being submitted via email to the team.
The referral form contains a section for completion by children/ young people as their views are very important when considering how best to support them at home, in school and out of school. They can be very good at giving advice.
As part of this referral, parent/ carers will have an opportunity to share their views and provide relevant information to the team.
Before referring into the Neurodevelopmental Pathway for specialist review and multi-agency assessment, it is important that referrers and parents/ carers have considered support services, strategies and recommendations as per the SEND graduated response. This is in order to facilitate their learning, behaviour and individual needs both in school and at home
In support of this, please consult the existing graduated response support materials for SEND via:
Our team will communicate with you all through the process to explain what assessments your child will require. These can range from speech and language therapy, community paediatrics, consultant psychiatry, educational psychology, autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS), school or home assessment.
The journey for each child and young person is different and will depend on their individual needs. Please be assured all referrals to the agencies required will be completed by the Pathway Team. You will then receive appointments directly from the services who are required to assess your child. It is really important that you attend all of these appointments.
We aim to support young people, parents and carers as much as possible throughout their assessment process and are happy to offer support, advice and to refer on to other agencies who provide intervention for your child such as child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) or Barnardo’s if this is required.
Local services available to support children and young people with special educational needs can be found on the St Helens local offer website.
To develop information on our website to support people accessing the St Helens neurodevelopmental pathway, we asked children, young people and families what information and advice they wanted including.
On this page, you will find links to trusted external websites where you can find information to help support you. This is not an exhaustive list and professionals may identify other websites that are useful to support your neurodevelopmental pathway journey.
Through community-based groups, programmes, and opportunities that raise awareness; develop skills; share learning experiences; and build confidence, we support children, young people, and families living with neurodevelopmental conditions, learning difficulties and associated mental health needs.
Carers centre – Listen 4 Change
Listen 4 Change is the name of your Parent Carer Forum. A Parent Carer Forum is a group of parent carers who work with Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups, education settings, health providers and other providers to make sure the services that they plan and deliver meet the needs of children, young people and their families. There are Parent Carer Forums all over England and we are funded by a grant from the Department of Education (DfE).
St Helens IASS - Information, Advice and Support Service
St Helens IASS is a statutory service providing information, advice and support on matters relating to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The service is offered to children and young people with SEND, and their parents/carers
Local, Autism & Social Communication Services (LASCS)
The Local, Autism and Social Communication Service have been supporting children, young people, their families and schools for over 12 years in St Helens. We are a highly skilled and experienced team, understanding children and young people’s development, the school systems to support children with their SEN and how to improve the outcomes in their learning and social/emotional development.
Local, Autism & Social Communication Services (LASCS) | St Helens Services for Schools
Children’s Social Care
The 2004 Children Act made local authorities responsible for ensuring and overseeing the effective delivery of services for children, working closely with others. They must also promote children's welfare and well-being as defined by the five outcomes, working to deliver better outcomes for children and young people.
Children and Families - St Helens Council
Barnardo’s BOSS is based in St Helens, Merseyside and is a Tier 2 Emotional Health and Wellbeing service, working alongside CAMHS Early Intervention service. The service works with all children and young people (0 – 19) offering both face to face therapy and online counselling. The service supports children and young people through therapeutic work, mentoring, group work and online support.
Barnardo's - St Helens Gateway
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services - also known as CAMHS
CAMHS work with young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties, and their families.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service: Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
When will my child go to the multi-disciplinary panel meeting?
Children are taken to panel in order of date of referral received by the Neurodevelopmental Pathway. This is to ensure fair access to the Neurodevelopmental Pathway.
** In exceptional circumstances some cases may be prioritised where there is a significant risk of harm to a child/ young person or family.
Why do we need a Speech and language assessment?
To assess your child’s attention and listening skills, understanding of spoken language, clearness of speech, ability to use language, social interaction skills and stammer.
Why do we need a Community Paediatrician assessment?
To complete a full developmental history, social communication difficulties, observation of the young person, possible genetic conditions, physical health assessment, attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity difficulties, motor coordination difficulties, sensory needs and screening for differential diagnosis.
Will my child have an ADOS assessment?
ADOS assessments are completed dependent on panel recommendations
What is an ADOS assessment?
Autism Diagnosis Observation Schedule (ADOS) is a semi structured assessment of communication, social interaction and play (or imaginative use of materials) for individuals suspected of having autism or other pervasive developmental disorders.
How long does the pathway take?
It is really important that we can carry out all assessments identified as being required for each child/ young person, and we recognise that these can take time.
Each of the individual agencies carrying out assessments will aim carry out an initial assessment within approximately 18 weeks.
Following on from all of these assessments being complete, each child/ young person will be listed to be discussed at our multi-disciplinary panel meeting.
From start to finish this can take approximately 12 months, and is individual to each child/ young person.
What happens following the outcome from the pathway panel?
Once a clinical outcome outcome is reached at the panel, we will offer you an appointment by letter for you to attend a feedback meeting where this will be discussed in detail with our pathway practitioner.
Parents/carer if the young person will be contracted by a member of the Neurodevelopmental pathway team to complete a feedback appointment - it is important that you ensure we have your up to date contact details.
An outcome report will be completed and a copy will be sent to parents with consent will be sent to GP, School and other agencies where appropriate.
An information pack will be shared with the parents/carer that is appropriate to the outcome.
Does my child need a diagnosis to get support in school?
All support provided should be needs led.
Contact your school SENCO with concerns or if required for support contact St Helens IASS - Information, Advice and Support Service - https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/send/st-helens-iass-information-advice-and-support-service/
What support is available whilst my child is on pathway?
Contact your school SENCO for support involving school and education needs and GP to discuss any further concerns regarding health and wellbeing and assessments/referrals to further agencies.