Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe a spectrum of conditions. People living with ASD will experience different strengths and difficulties, ranging from mild attributes to more severe or profound difficulties. People with ASD are generally considered to experience difficulties in areas of social interaction and communication. The condition is also associated with a number of rigid and/or repetitive behaviours, including obsessive interests and sensory difficulties.
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) has developed a website that parents, carers, children and young people, and professionals can access that reflects the assessment pathway. Whether you’re a professional who would like to refer a child or young person for assessment, or a parent/carer who would like support whilst your child is on the waiting list or has received a diagnosis, HCT’s aim is to provide you with and signpost you to the relevant information.
How to make a referral
Before considering a referral for ASD investigations, please ensure that parents and carers are offered support and are signposted to the Hertfordshire Local Offer website which provides a wide range of information, training for families and an educational programme.
- Referrals can be made by a GP, health visitor, school nurse, social worker in certain circumstances, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) and consultants from other specialities.
- Most referrals are discussed within a multi-disciplinary professionals team meeting to determine the most appropriate services to meet your child’s needs.
- Following receipt of the referral you may be asked to fill out various questionnaires and provide a report from your child’s school or pre-school. This will be shared with you.
- Once we have the relevant information an appointment will be sent.
Autism Assessment: Referral Forms & Guidance
Our referral forms and information can be found on the link above and once complete should be emailed to the following:
Herts Valleys: HCT.CYPSpecialistServices@nhs.net
East and North Herts: email@example.com
The majority of our ASD assessments are being undertaken as virtual video based assessments with the Multidisciplinary team. This means you and your child or young person can be seen at home via video link. A clinician will contact you in advance of an appointment to discuss the process and how the assessment will be carried out on the day. This way of working is in line with national and international expert guidance, and ensures our families and staff are kept safe. In addition this model of working is helping the team ensure that children, young people and their families can receive support based on their individual needs. Virtual assessments have already helped us to reduce the time it is currently taking to review and assess each individual.
When your child or young person is nearing the top of the waiting list, we would be grateful if you and/or the school setting where appropriate could complete and return all the forms which we will send. The forms will typically be sent by email.
If your child’s needs have changed and you no longer require an assessment appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer the appointment to another family. You can contact the ASD Administration team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whilst you are waiting for an assessment appointment, we suggest you review the information available from the Hertfordshire County Council Local Offer. The Local Offer includes a range of materials, bookable courses and workshops which can provide invaluable guidance on supporting your child or young person, both before and after their assessment. The Local Offer website is https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/microsites/Local-Offer/The-Hertfordshire-Local-Offer.aspx
There are an increased number of workshops for parents, carers and families awaiting ASD assessment. You can find the dates and details for the workshops by accessing the Local Offer website link.