We offer NICE compliant assessments for autism and/or ADHD, which are conducted by a multi-disciplinary team for Somerset. We are seeking to understand a person rather than being a yes/no diagnostic service and is therapeutically informed.

All children and young people who have been through the pathway will receive a detailed report explaining the outcome of the assessment. This is written directly to the young person in a strength-based and therapeutically informed way.

Specific recommendations based on the young person’s unique profile of strengths and areas of difference are made. This might include what local services may be able to meet the young person’s needs, advice for those supporting a young person to adapt their practice, or resources for the young person and parent/carer.

The core principles of the pathway are:

  • Any approaches must be child and young person centred and based on need rather than a diagnosis
  • A multidisciplinary approach is used at each step
  • There is a consistent approach in the use of screening and diagnostic assessment tools across Somerset
  • Information is securely stored so that it is accessible to each part of the system involved in the child or young person’s care
  • Pre and post ‘diagnostic’ assessment strategies and support are identified and agreed.

Referral process

Pre-assessment Pathway

For our team to consider a referral we need to see evidence that education settings have been putting support and reasonable adjustments in place to support a child or young person without a formal diagnosis.

Pre assessment pathway documents for Autism and ADHD.

These documents have been developed in collaboration with education, health and care colleagues as well as parent carers, children and young people. They have been developed to support education settings, practitioners, and parent carers so that everyone better understands the pre assessment pathway.

Next Steps form

If evidence is gathered that indicates a child or young person may have either Autism and/or ADHD a ‘Neurodevelopmental Next Steps’ form should be completed to request an assessment.

The form and advice is on the Neurodevelopmental Next Steps Form page.

This pathway is for children aged 4 to 17 years who are in school or Electively Home Educated. For those aged 4 but not yet in school please see the Autism Assessments for 0 to 5 year olds (pre-school) pathway.

If you would like support in completing this form, we would advise you to ask whoever you think is best placed to help. This might be someone at your child’s school (a SENCo for example), or someone else who is working with you (such as a Parent and Family Support Advisors, Social Worker or health practitioner).


All new requests for a neurodevelopmental assessment are initially triaged by a member of the Children and Young People Neurodevelopmental Partnership clinical team.

In exceptional circumstances where there is significant complexity that requires additional information that is likely to be available through local authority systems (such as through Children’s Social Care and/or Education records), young people may subsequently be put forward for more in-depth consideration of their referral through discussion with interagency colleagues from across the local system in a regular Interagency MDT Triage meeting.

If our team accepts the referral an acceptance letter will be sent to the young persons parent/carer, school and GP. They will then be added to our waitlist for an assessment using the date the referral documents were received by the CYPNP.

If our team does not accept the referral, we will write a bespoke letter explaining our decision, including professional advice.