Undergoing the diagnostic process for autism can be a daunting and difficult time, so we’ve put together a list of FAQs to give families an idea of what to expect and to help to point them in the right direction…

You can also download our Services Brochure for details of support services here at Daisy Chain that are available to families who are undergoing the diagnostic process.

If you suspect your child may have autism, making an appointment to see your GP or health visitor is a good place to start. Make some notes and take them along to your appointment with you. A diary of behaviours and characteristics that you have observed that make you think your child may be autistic will be useful.

A diagnosis can take place for a child when they’re quite young (in some cases, as early as the age of two) but not everyone is diagnosed early in life. It’s quite common for a child to not get their diagnosis until they are older, or even an adult, particularly if they don’t have accompanying learning difficulties.

A diagnosis is the formal identification of autism, usually by a health professional such as a paediatrician or psychiatrist. Having a diagnosis not only helps people with autism and their families to understand why they may experience certain difficulties, but also enables them to access services and support.

Due to recent and upcoming changes to the main diagnostic manuals, “autism spectrum disorder” (ASD) is now likely to become the most commonly given diagnostic term. However, some clinicians may use additional terms to help to describe the particular autism profile presented by an individual. These may include Aspergers Syndrome, classic autism, high functioning autism and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions.

Alliance

Service offers: Services delivered on behalf of the NHS in Teesside providing talking therapies to help overcome difficulties.

Telephone: 01642 352747
Email: info@alliancepsychology.com
Website: http://www.alliancepsychology.com

 

Autism friendly cinema screenings

Cineworld, Showcase, ODEON, Vue
Website: https://www.dimensions-uk.org/families/autism-friendly-environments/autism-friendly-screenings/

Autism Matters

Service offer: offering a range of support and services for adults on the autism spectrum

Contact: 07500 871568
Email: info@autism-matters.co.uk
Website: http://www.autism-matters.co.uk/
 

Borocuda Swim School

Service offers: Swim school offering group lessons, adult lessons and 1-1 lessons.

Telephone: 01642 263955
Email: borocudaswimming@gmail.com
Website: https://en-gb.facebook.com/borocudaswimming/

 

Building Blox Tees Valley

Service offers: Understanding and awareness around autism and support with building parent’s confidence.

Telephone: 01642 988411
Email: buildingbloxs.tvcic@gmail.com
Website: http://www.buildingbloxs.co.uk/
 

Contact a family

Service offers: Provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Telephone: 0191 213 6300
Email: northeast.office@contact.org.uk
Website: https://contact.org.uk/northeast

 

Family fund

Service offers: Providing grants for families raising disables or seriously ill children and young people.

Telephone: 01904 550055
Email: info@familyfund.co.uk
Website: https://www.familyfund.org.uk

Future Steps Occupational Therapy for Children and Adults

Service offers: Providing specialist occupational therapy services to children and adults.

Telephone: 01325 254688
Email: admin@futurestepsconsultancy.co.uk
Website: www.futurestepsconsultancy.co.uk

 

Hartburn Lodge

Service offers: Hartburn Lodge provides planned short breaks and overnight stays for children with complex and additional needs. Children are accepted from ages 8 to 18 years, emergency cases accepted from 6 years. Referrals to this service can be made by the child’s social worker and an application is then decided by a multi-agency panel.

Telephone: 01642 527994
Website: https://www.stockton.gov.uk/children-and-young-people/children-with-special-educational-needs-sen/short-breaks-services/

 

Horizons Specialist Academy Trust

Service offers: Numerous after school, holiday and weekend clubs and activities for those who have a disability.

Telephone: 01642 677113
Email: enquiries@horizontrust.org.uk
Website: http://www.horizonstrust.org.uk

 

MAIN

Service offers: PA services, SENDIASS, after school clubs, holiday clubs

Telephone: 01642 608012
Email: info@iammain.org.uk
Website: https://www.iammain.org.uk
 

Oasis

Service offers: You will need a referral through a social worker to access Oasis which offers after-school and day-care short-breaks for children and young people aged 5-17 years of age with a learning disability.

Telephone: 01642 766579
Email: susan.scott@stockton.gov.uk
Website: https://www.stockton.gov.uk/children-and-young-people/children-with-special-educational-needs-sen/short-breaks-services/

 

ReGenerate

Service offers: On- going mentorship and support, both for parents/carers and their child(ren)

Telephone: 07731 922947
Email: ReGeneratecic@gmail.com
Website: www.regeneratecic.co.uk
 

SNAPS (Special Needs Activities with Parent Support Tees Valley)

Service offers: SNAPS are a parent led, well established support group which provides term and holiday activities for the whole family with a child or young person 0 – 25 years old with special or additional needs in the Tees Valley area.

Telephone: 01642 530292
Email: info@snapsteesvalley.co.uk
Website: www.snapsteesvalley.co.uk

 

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IASS)

Service offers: Impartial, confidential and free information, advice and support for parents/carers, children and young people around issues relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) – a statutory service supported and funded by Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council.

Telephone: 01642 527158
Email: sendiass@stockton.gov.uk
Website: http://stocktoninformationdirectory.org/kb5/stockton/directory/localoffer.page

Sport Works

Service offer: Specialising in working with schools and disadvantaged/disabled groups to improve health outcomes via sport and exercise programmes, offering after school clubs and holiday clubs.

Telephone: 0191 5800 120
Website: http://www.sportworksltd.co.uk/


Stockton Parent Carer Forum

Service offers: A group of parents & carers of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disabled children aged 0-25 who work alongside the local authority, education, health service and other service providers to make sure the services they plan, commission, deliver and monitor meet the needs of children and families.

Telephone: 07935 447375
Email: stocktonparentcarerforum@gmail.com
Website: http://www.stocktonparentcarerforum.co.uk


Stockton Short Break Grant

Service offers: For information on short break funding which can be used to pay for services at Daisy Chain – download the short break parent/carer guidance document and the short break grant application form from the website.

Website: https://www.stockton.gov.uk/children-and-young-people/children-with-special-educational-needs-sen/short-breaks-services/

The process of getting an autism diagnosis can be lengthy. Timescales vary greatly depending on each child, but generally, it takes around 18 months for families in our area.

Once you have visited your GP, you may then be referred for a formal assessment. Your child should have a multi-agency diagnostic assessment – that is, an assessment by a team of professionals. The team might include a speech and language therapist, a paediatrician and a specialist psychologist. A detailed developmental history will be taken, which involves gathering information from parents or carers about their child, from birth upwards. If your child is of school age, a CAMHS clinician will carry out assessments of them within the school environment. This will include observations of both structured and unstructured periods, e.g. lessons and break time. Your child’s teacher will also be involved in the information sharing process to provide further insight. An ADOS assessment (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) will also be carried out – this consists of activities that allow behaviours to be observed.

Once all the assessments have been completed, a meeting will be held to discuss the outcome and a diagnosis may be given, or recommendations to support the child going forward if there is not enough evidence gathered to support a diagnosis.

Alliance

Service offers: Services delivered on behalf of the NHS in Teesside providing talking therapies to help overcome difficulties.

Telephone: 01642 352747
Email: info@alliancepsychology.com
Website: http://www.alliancepsychology.com

 

Autism friendly cinema screenings

Cineworld, Showcase, ODEON, Vue
Website: https://www.dimensions-uk.org/families/autism-friendly-environments/autism-friendly-screenings/

 

Autism Matters

Service offer: offering a range of support and services for adults on the autism spectrum

Contact: 07500 871568
Email: info@autism-matters.co.uk
Website: http://www.autism-matters.co.uk/

Contact a family

Service offers: Provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Telephone: 0191 213 6300
Email: northeast.office@contact.org.uk
Website: https://contact.org.uk/northeast

 

DAD (Darlington Association on Disability)

Service offers: offers support for disabled people and those with learning disabilities or experience poor mental health.

Telephone: 01325 489999
Email: mail@darlingtondisability.org
Website: http://www.darlingtondisability.org

 

Darlington Choice Advice SEND Advice

Service offers: General information about general support for families in Darlington.

Telephone: 0800 9172121
Email: PFIS@darlington.gov.uk
Website: www.darlington.fsd.org.uk

 

Darlington Information, Advice & Support Service

Service offers: provides information and support on a one to one basis to parents/carers of children who have or may have special educational needs. It is a free impartial service which helps parents/carers.

Telephone: 0800 9172121
Email: iass@darlington.gov.uk
Website: www.darlington.gov.uk/iass

 

Darlington Parent Carer Forum

Service offers: Darlington Parent Carer Forum brings together parents and carers of disabled children and young people up to the age of 25.

Telephone: 01325 254848

Family fund

Service offers: Providing grants for families raising disables or seriously ill children and young people.

Telephone: 01904 550055
Email: info@familyfund.co.uk
Website: https://www.familyfund.org.uk

Little Treasure

Services offers: Autism stay and play group on the 1st Saturday of every month 10:30am-12pm. Begins May 5th 2018.

Address: Firthmoor & District Community Association, Burnside Road, Darlington. DL1 4SU
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2018community/

MAIN

Service offers: PA services, SENDIASS, after school clubs, holiday clubs

Telephone: 01642 608012
Email: info@iammain.org.uk
Website: https://www.iammain.org.uk

 

North East Autism Society

Service offers: Darlington Workshop is based at Yarm Road, Darlington and offers a diverse range of programmes based on the individual assessed needs of service users.

Telephone: 01325 469866
Email: darlington@ne-as.org.uk
Website: https://www.ne-as.org.uk/darlington-workshops

1 Hart, 1 Mind, 1 Future

Service offers: Hartlepool’s Parent Led Forum for families of children with additional needs.

Telephone: 07896054361
Email: hartmindfuture@yahoo.co.uk
Website: http://www.onefuture.org.uk

 

Alliance

Service offers: Services delivered on behalf of the NHS in Teesside providing talking therapies to help overcome difficulties.

Telephone: 01642 352747
Email: info@alliancepsychology.com
Website: http://www.alliancepsychology.com

Approach Training Safely

Service offers: Free courses for those who claim benefits from Autism Awareness, Behaviours that challenge, to Safeguarding and dignity.

Telephone: 01429 892069
Email: info@apprachtrainingsafely.co.uk
Website: https://www.approachtrainingsafely.co.uk

 

Autism friendly cinema screenings

Cineworld, Showcase, ODEON, Vue
Website: https://www.dimensions-uk.org/families/autism-friendly-environments/autism-friendly-screenings/

 

Autism Matters

Service offer: offering a range of support and services for adults on the autism spectrum

Contact: 07500 871568
Email: info@autism-matters.co.uk
Website: http://www.autism-matters.co.uk/

 

Borocuda Swim School

Service offers: Swim school offering group lessons, adult lessons and 1-1 lessons.

Telephone: 01642 263955
Email: borocudaswimming@gmail.com
Website: https://en-gb.facebook.com/borocudaswimming/

Café One77   

Service offers: One77 is a social enterprise based in Hartlepool that exists to provide opportunities that engage and inspire young people, offering a range of social, practical teaching and learning activities for young people aged between 13-24.

Telephone: 01429 862177
Website: http://familiesfirstne.co.uk/one77.html

 

Contact a family

Service offers: Provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Telephone: 0191 213 6300
Email: northeast.office@contact.org.uk
Website: https://contact.org.uk/northeast

 

Family fund

Service offers: Providing grants for families raising disables or seriously ill children and young people.

Telephone: 01904 550055
Email: info@familyfund.co.uk
Website: https://www.familyfund.org.uk

 

Funability

Service offers: disability club for participants ages 6 to 16 years offering multi skills activities such as activity, cricket, bowls, badminton and tennis.

Telephone: 01429 284052
Email: rachael.pringle@hartlepool.gov.uk
Website: https://hartlepool.fsd.org.uk/kb5/hartlepool/fsd/event.page?id=T19CMgZF0NU

 

Future Steps Occupational Therapy for Children and Adults

Service offers:  providing specialist occupational therapy services to children and adults.

Telephone: 01325 254688
Email: admin@futurestepsconsultancy.co.uk
Website: www.futurestepsconsultancy.co.uk

 

Hartlepool Advocacy Hub

Service offers: Independent of Social Services and Health Services, they can help you put your views across and give information on the options that are available to you.

Telephone: 07522 866080
Email: AdvocacyHub@incontrol-able.co.uk

 

Hartlepool Carers

Service offers: Hartlepool carers can offer support and information on issues connected with your caring role.

Telephone: 01429 283095
Email: staff@hartlepoolcarers.org.uk
Website: www.hartlepoolcarers.org.uk

Hartlepool Families First

Service offers: A charity supporting children and young adults with additional needs. Also supporting older adults with social and mental wellbeing as well as improving health across the region.

Telephone: 01429 867016
Website: www.hartlepoolfamiliesfirst.org.uk

Hartlepool Information, Advice and Support Service (Hartlepool IASS)

Service offers: Hartlepool IASS will work with families of pupils up to the age of 25 years who are new to the EHC needs assessment process, Statement transfers, post 16 transfers, complex requests and for families requiring ongoing support. Specialist individual support to parents, carers, children and young people.

Telephone: 01429 284876
Email: HARTLEPOOLIASS@hartlepool.gov.uk
Website: https://www.hartlepool.gov.uk/info/20015/social_care_and_health/354/hartlepool_information_advice_and_support_service

Hartlepool Now

Service offers: Hartlepool Now makes is easy to find out about local services. Download the app on app store or google play.

Website: www.Hartlepoolnow.co.uk

 

Hartlepool Short Break Grant

Service offers: Short break parent and carer guidance document and free text messaging service.

Website: https://hartlepool.fsd.org.uk/kb5/hartlepool/fsd/organisation.page?id=eYrimASXz7s

Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group

Service offers: Aims to alleviate the needs and advance the education of children/young adults with various profound physical-learning disabilities with varying complex needs, including life limiting conditions, and to support their families-carers.

Telephone: 01429 863766
Email: info@hsnsg.org.uk
Website: www.hsnsg.org.uk

Hartlepool Young Carers

Service offers: To help reduce caring responsibilities in young carers, help improve young carers emotional wellbeing and help improve life chances for young carers. 1-1 support including school support as well as advocacy and representation at meetings. Respite and residential activities for young carers.

Telephone: 01429 284284
Website: https://www.hartlepoolcarers.org.uk/young-carers (also a closed Facebook Group – Hartlepool Carers)

Mister Twisters

Service offers: Special needs private sessions

Telephone: 01429 275777
Website: www.mister-twisters.co.uk

RicoChet (Mobile Device Loan Service)

Service offers: A free service that enables people to access information, advice and guidance by providing a free loan service of mobile devices with pre-loaded bookmarks in information sites.

Telephone: 07775 081351
Email: projects@incontrol-able.co.uk
Website: www.incontrol-able.co.uk

 

Safe space project

Service offers: Safe Space Project will provide low level emotional and well-being support to children ages 5-16 years old age.

Telephone: 01429 283095
Email: Claire.jewson@hartlepoolcarers.org.uk or alice.pearce@hartlepoolcarers.org.uk
Website: https://www.hartlepoolcarers.org.uk

 

SNIP (Special needs inclusion project)

Service offers: An OfSted registered after-school club and holiday play scheme for children with profound and often multiple disabilities.

Telephone: 01429 867016
Website: http://familiesfirstne.co.uk/snips-special-needs-inclusion-project.html

 

Step Forward Tees Valley in Hartlepool

Service offers: Step forward Tees Valley helps local people overcome barriers so they can move forward and, in time, look to enter work or training.

Telephone: 01429 363108
Email: stepforward@niconsortium.org
Website: www.sfteesvalley.co.uk

 

Street Project

Service offers: The STREET project (Supporting, Training, Raising Expectations, and Empowering Teenagers) is a befriending service held at the One77 facility on York Road on a Monday and Thursday night. It is a safe social environment for individuals often with special needs and requirements to interact and socialise. The service is aimed at young people aged 13-19 years.

Telephone: 01429 867016
Website: http://familiesfirstne.co.uk/street.html

Alliance

Service offers: Services delivered on behalf of the NHS in Teesside providing talking therapies to help overcome difficulties.

Telephone: 01642 352747
Email: info@alliancepsychology.com
Website: http://www.alliancepsychology.com

 

Aspire Personalised Care Solutions

Service offers: delivers independent support to young people and their families in partnership with Local Authorities, local Information Advice and Support Services (IASS), previously known as Parent Partnership Services (PPS) and Parent Carer Forums (PCF).

Telephone: 0191 3753967
Email: info@aspire-cs.co.uk
Website: http://aspire-cs.co.uk

 

Autism friendly cinema screenings

Cineworld, Showcase, ODEON, Vue

Website: https://www.dimensions-uk.org/families/autism-friendly-environments/autism-friendly-screenings/

 

Autism Matters

Service offer: offering a range of support and services for adults on the autism spectrum

Contact: 07500 871568
Email: info@autism-matters.co.uk
Website: http://www.autism-matters.co.uk/

Borocuda Swim School

Service offers: Swim school offering group lessons, adult lessons and 1-1 lessons.

Telephone: 01642 263955
Email: borocudaswimming@gmail.com
Website: https://en-gb.facebook.com/borocudaswimming/

 

Contact a family

Service offers: Provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability.

Telephone: 0191 213 6300
Email: northeast.office@contact.org.uk
Website: https://contact.org.uk/northeast

 

Family fund

Service offers: Providing grants for families raising disables or seriously ill children and young people.

Telephone: 01904 550055
Email: info@familyfund.co.uk
Website: https://www.familyfund.org.uk

 

Family Information Service, Middlesbrough

Service offers: The family information service aims to provide accurate, high quality, accessible and impartial information, advice and guidance on all registered and unregistered childcare facilities and other services currently available in your local area.

Telephone: 01642 354200
Email: childcare@middlesbrough.gov.uk
Website: http://fis.middlesbrough.gov.uk/kb5/middlesbrough/fsd/service.page?id=u8XfPTVOjHs

 

South Tees SENDIASS

Service offers: Confidential information and advice for children and young people who may have a disability

Telephone: 07923 241142
Email: southteessendiass@barnardos.org.uk
Website: https://barnardossendiass.org.uk/south-tees-sendiass/

 

Middlesbrough Children with Disabilities Team

Service offers: For information on short break funding which can be used to pay for services at Daisy Chain, contact Middlesbrough Children with Disabilities Team.

Telephone: 01642 79160

Middlesbrough Team for Children with Disabilities

Service offers: Regular newsletters containing advice and information about services and events in Middlesbrough for children with disabilities.

Telephone: 01642 354201
Email: disabilitymatters@middlesbrough.gov.uk

 

Parents 4 Change

Service offers: Awareness and action on behalf of children with disabilities in Middlesbrough

Telephone: 01642 200526 or 07584055639
Email: info@parents4change.co.uk
Website: http://www.parents4change.co.uk

 

Personal budgets

Service offers: A personal budget is an amount of money to help meet your social care needs. It can be taken as either; a cash payment known as direct payments or an amount managed for you by the department of social care or a mixture of the two options.

Telephone: 01642 729498
Email: personalbudgets@middlesbrough.gov.uk
Website: www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/socialcare

SNAPS (Special Needs Activities with Parent Support Tees Valley)

Service offers: SNAPS are a parent led, well established support group which provides term and holiday activities for the whole family with a child or young person 0 – 25 years old with special or additional needs in the Tees Valley area.

Telephone: 01642 530292
Email: info@snapsteesvalley.co.uk
Website: www.snapsteesvalley.co.uk

 

Sport Works

Service offer: Specialising in working with schools and disadvantaged/disabled groups to improve health outcomes via sport and exercise programmes, offering after school clubs and holiday clubs.

Telephone: 0191 5800 120
Website: http://www.sportworksltd.co.uk/

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