FAQ: How to manage ASD?

Question: My clinic started CAPA in July 2010. CAPA has helped to reduce waiting list and time to be seen. However, many of our referral and choice seen came out with the possibility of ASD. How to run CAPA with many potential cases are ASD? We don’t have neurodevelopmental team available.

Answer: Hi. You sound like the service I am in- we have a lot of neurodevelopmental in Choice.

We manage this in the team I am in by having a neurodevelopmental Partnership clinic. So if this type of assessment is needed they are booked in from Choice – screening is done in Choice. We don’t just assume such an assessment is needed from the referral. So that means those doing Choice need neuro screening skills. The Partnership multiplier we use in the neuro clinic is still 3 as we have found the session average is still around 7.

We have trained up clinicians to do Neurodevelopmental assessments – and so we have a subteam made up of a range of professional backgrounds. We don’t have SLT or OT in the service so these assessments are not included in our ND assessment. However, if they are indicated as a result of our assessment then we refer to the relevant service locally. We used to have SLT who joined us but this has been withdrawn due to cuts a few years ago.

Everyone doing the assessments is able to do basic social communication assessment with the child – we have been given help from the SLT who used to work with us to do this- i.e. have extended our skills in this area. However, if they need a CELF or such like then we could not do this.

So you have various options: Your SLT and OT could be in Partnership, joining the assessments for Specific Partnership work and you could ask them to help extend your skills so you can do some assessments, bringing them in for the more complex ones- probably a more efficient option

A final thought is also not to assume what ASD referrals want. Often we feel they need a thorough assessment (whatever that is). They may be more pragmatic.

Ann (and Steve)