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Sheffield Children’s launches new autism resources

Ryegate
31 January 2022

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new information resource on its website which provides support for families of children with conditions such as ADHD and autism.

It has been put together by the experts at Sheffield Children’s who support children, young people, their families and schools with autism. Whether you are waiting for an assessment or have been diagnosed with autism it will help families understand and develop strategies to support their children. It also sign posts to a vast number of local and national organisations that can offer support.

The resources include autism workshop videos which take viewers on a journey of what autism is and how to support an autistic child in specific areas such as communication, eating and sleeping. These videos were previously part of a face-to-face workshop, but due to COVID restrictions and positive feedback on a virtual way of working, they are now in video format and can be easily shared with friends and family.

The website also shares lots of resources around support for siblings, social stories, activities and sport and short breaks and respite care. Similar resources for ADHD are also being developed.

You can find the resources at https://www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/services/child-development-and-neurodisability/autism-home/autism-support/

Dr Karen Arnold, member of the autism assessment team at Sheffield Children’s Ryegate Centre said: “We are delighted to be able to offer these resources to make it easier for young people, their families and schools.

“We really hope this provides everyone with the opportunity to get the support they need while waiting for a diagnosis or afterwards, with help at home and at school. We’d love to hear how people find the resources, so please don’t hesitate to let them teams know.”

New Single Point of Access (SPA) for ADHD and autism referrals

The Trust has also launched a Single Point of Access (SPA) for all ADHD and autism referrals to make sure patients and families’ needs are supported straight away and the right team is put in place for the assessment.

Sheffield Children’s Child Development and Neurodisability service supports children and families across South Yorkshire with ADHD, autism and other neurodisabilities. Following feedback from patients, families and professionals across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, this new pathway has been developed to make referrals by colleagues at Sheffield Children’s and partner organisations, such as schools, more efficient, make access to support smoother and improve communication with patients and families throughout the process.

Karen added: “Although we’re improving our referral system to a new Single Point of Access way of working, we know the wait for an assessment can be very long, and it can be a difficult and frustrating time for both children and their families. By making sure everyone has access to the same information, before and after diagnosis, we hope this makes things easier and less stressful.”

You can find more information about the referral process at https://www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/services/child-development-and-neurodisability/autism-home/

 

 

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