Social Communication Pathway Autism Assessment

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The Social Communication Pathway (SCP) is an autism assessment service in Manchester.

Referral Forms

There are three separate teams, covering South Manchester (Carol Kendrick Centre), Central Manchester (The Powerhouse/Winnicott Centre) and North Manchester (The Powerhouse/The Bridge).

The team is as follows:

  • Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Mental Health Practitioner
  • Educational Psychologist from OneEducation
  • Consultant Paediatrician

Who do we work with?

The SCP team work with children and young people who have difficulties or differences with the following:

  • Social relationships
  • Expressing and understanding feelings
  • Communication
  • Changes to routine/unexpected changes
  • Sensitivity to sensory input such as noise, textures and tastes
  • Young people may also have special interests and things they are very good at

Some children and young people experience these differences and difficulties because they have autism (also known as autism spectrum disorder or autistic spectrum condition).

Some children and young people have these difficulties but are not autistic.

The SCP’s job is to work with children/young people and their families to see if the child/young person has autism.

Referral criteria

  • Child or young person over the age of 2 years; young people can be offered appointments until their 18th birthday
  • Registered with a Manchester GP
  • Completed questionnaires detailing concerns from parents/carers and professionals about child or young person’s social communication
  • Parent/carer – and young person if appropriate – agrees to assessment for autism spectrum, and gives permission for relevant agencies to be contacted for supporting information
  • There are other reasons that children and young people can present with social difficulties, communication difficulties and behaviour that challenges. For example, if the child has specific learning or language difficulties; or behaviour may be a reaction to significant life experiences.  We may feel an autism assessment is not appropriate in this case.

Referral process

  • Parent/carer completes a parental questionnaire. If you are a professional, you should provide parent/carer with a copy of the form and support them to complete it, if appropriate.  Copies of the questionnaire are available online.
  • School/nursery should complete a separate education questionnaire. Copies of the questionnaire are available online.
  • We sometimes ask older young people to complete a questionnaire. You can contact the SCP to discuss this or to request a copy of the questionnaire.
  • There is also a health professionals’ form. This can be helpful if there is extra information to include with the referral.
  • Please also include any relevant reports and information, e.g. Speech and Language assessments, Educational Psychology assessments. This will help avoid delays in processing your child’s referral.
  • Once both PARENT/CARER & EDUCATION forms are completed, we will consider whether we think an autism assessment is needed.