Behavioural issues in children and young people. Is it ADHD? Is it Autism/ASD?

If you are concerned about the behaviour of your child and have been advised to ask your GP for a referral to the ADHD clinic or to consider whether or not they are on the autistic spectrum, please note that as GP’s we cannot make the referral and you need to ask to see the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) at your child’s school/educational setting to make that referral.

The referral letter has to detail interventions put in place by the school/educational setting.

As GP’s we have no access to this information and therefore your SENCO is best placed to make the referral. The referral also has to be discussed with the young person and often parents attend a GP appointment asking for a referral on the young persons’ behalf.

The Community Paediatric Service will not be accepting any referrals if schools have not said that they have put intervention in place.


A diagnosis does not change the needs of the child. Intervention should be put in place when the referrals are being made to look for a potential diagnosis.

ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) assessments particularly, are multidisciplinary assessments and all agencies have to contribute to these assessments. The community paediatric department are not the Autism Team (this team is a multiagency team).Community Paediatricians can only complete assessments in a timely fashion when adequate information is made available.


The Community Paediatric Department is not a Behaviour Service. The department provides assessments for ADHD for school aged children up to 16 years of age and contribute to the multidisciplinary assessment of a child suspected to be on the autism spectrum up to 16 years of age.


The school can engage the Educational Psychology Team, Autism Service/Cheshire East Autism Service or Rosebank Outreach Team if they are unclear of the needs of the child/young person.


Parents of any child or young person presenting with behavioural difficulties will need to have accessed behaviour management advice or attended a parenting group. The Community Paediatric Service will not accepting referrals if the child’s parents have not accessed this advice.