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Summary report of key learnings, feedback and findings from the Autism and ADHD Assessment Pathway workshops



Here you can find a summary report of key learning, feedback from lived experience and findings from the Autism and ADHD Assessment Pathway workshops held in 2021.

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Autism and ADHD Pathway November 2021

Summary report of key learnings, feedback from lived experience and findings from the Autism and ADHD Assessment Pathway workshops

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The Pre-assessment Pathway for Autism and ADHD was launched in July 2021 after co-production across, Education, Health and Care for a test and learn period. Some of the key changes included:

  • All professionals who are involved with a Child or Young Person (CYP), across Education, Health and Care can request an assessment for Autism and/or ADHD provided there is evidence to do so.
  • The Next Steps form was designed for the purpose of requesting an assessment and indicates what evidence is needed.
  • Education settings link an assessment request to the graduated response as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice.
  • Families where the CYP is electively home educated are supported by the Somerset Parent Carer Forum to complete the Next Steps process if needed.
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Services (SENDIAS) colleagues can be requested to provide mediation when families and schools are not in agreement on whether an assessment should be requested.
  • A multi-disciplinary triage (MDT) team was established across Education, Health and Care to consider assessment requests.
  • A pre-assessment ‘help-line’ email address was established for education colleagues to ask any questions they have, request a telephone, Team’s consultation, or seek clarification. This resource is also being used by a variety of colleagues across the workforce who support CYP with needs and by parent carers.
  • A half-termly Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) discussion group was established to provide training, support, and opportunities for case discussions.

The following paper evaluates the changes to and implementation of the Pre-assessment Pathway and the transition to the Assessment Pathway Next Steps process in Somerset in 2022.

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Pre-assessment Pathway and transition to the Assessment Pathway for ADHD and Autism

Evaluation – February to April 2022

PDF, 262KB

Positive reflections include:

  • SENCOs who feel they are supported by their senior leadership in their schools and have the time needed to carry out their role as a SENCo, have welcomed the pre-assessment pathway. They agree it fits with their role in carrying out a graduated response for CYP seen as having Special Educational Needs (SEN). As one SENCo remarked, ‘We have been given a gift…’ There is no longer the need to work through the GP and wonder whether the GP has included the school information shared with them as evidence for a referral for an assessment.
  • A multi-disciplinary triage team consider requests for assessments to ensure the right CYP receives an assessment, and signposting those where an assessment is not agreed.
  • The two assessment services, The CYP Neurodevelopmental Partnership (CYPNP) and the East Mendip (HCRG Care Group) Service have commented that the depth of information provided through the Next Steps process and form far outweighs the information previously provided by GPs.
  • The support systems in place for the pre-assessment pathway is rated as highly valuable and helpful for those who have used them, for example the email address and the SENCO support discussion groups that take place every half-term.

Last reviewed: August 23, 2023 by Ian

Next review due: February 23, 2024

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