The SCD Panel currently only accepts referrals for assessment from Paediatricians, Educational Psychologists (or equivalent), Speech and Language Therapists, Portage workers (younger children), and CAMHS practitioners. Please note: referrals from CAMHS are only accepted where the child has ongoing and current involvement with a practitioner. It is not possible for referrals to the SCD Panel to be made through Contact Point as the primary role of this service is supporting children’s mental health.
One of the professionals listed may raise the terms “social communication difficulties” and “autism” or “Asperger’s” with parents and should tell them a bit more about what these mean and the diagnosis process. To refer to the Panel, they will ask parents and their child for some information and ask that they sign a consent form to give permission for information to be collected and shared.
By referring to the SCD Panel, the professional is questioning whether a child’s behaviour is consistent with autism or Asperger’s or not. Therefore a child who is referred to the Panel does not necessarily receive a diagnosis.
At the end of the process there are three possible outcomes: autism diagnosis, Asperger’s diagnosis, or no diagnosis. Sometimes it is agreed at the SCD Panel that further information is required or more time is needed in order to securely reach a diagnostic decision. In this instance, further assessments are requested or a period of ‘watchful waiting’ may be suggested. It is likely the child will be discussed at a second Panel before a decision is made.