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Assistance for children with Learning disabilities or Autism

Ward 1 bay

Sheffield Children’s is committed to providing equality in access to its health care services. We recognise that for some children and young people this can be difficult.

We have a range of supportive services to support children and young people when accessing services here at Sheffield Children’s.


In the Outpatients Department, we have quiet rooms that can be used by children who find the main waiting areas difficult due to sensory needs.

These quiet rooms can be booked in advance of your appointment to avoid disappointment by contacting our Play Team on 07920 765788. If they are aware of your appointment, the Play Team can discuss with you what sensory equipment could be made available to support and distract your child during their hospital visit.

If you have concerns about how your child will cope with their hospital visit or medical procedure, you can get in touch with our Learning Disability and Autism Lead Nurse who can help with a range of supportive measures such as desensitisation, pre visits to the hospital or service, or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed to improve the child or young person’s experience. If you feel this may be needed, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

You can contact our Learning Disability and Autism Lead Nurse, Michelle Evans on 07584 345848 or by emailing

Inpatient services

If you are coming to stay on one of our wards at Sheffield Children’s or attending an appointment for surgery, our Learning Disability and Autism Lead Nurse can support with reasonable adjustments where possible within ward environments.

We know that staying in hospital can be a daunting and sometimes stressful experience. To support children and young people to communicate their needs, we have developed a communication and health passport, which can be downloaded below.

When you have completed the passport for your child, you can bring it with you when you come to stay at Sheffield Children’s. Please give the passport to the nurse looking after your child, as this will help them to understand what you need.

If you need support in completing a hospital passport, please contact our PALS service on 0114 2717594 or by emailing

We can also add an alert to your child’s patient information. This means that when a nurse or doctor is looking after your child – or looks at their hospital record – they will be able to see that your child is autistic or has a learning disability. This can help the staff in the hospital to understand that they need to provide reasonable adjustments to help your child access services in the Trust.

If you would like to have an alert added to your child’s patient information you can email or call us on 0114 2717594.

Coming for surgery

Having an operation can be an anxious time for children and young people. At Sheffield Children’s, we have a pre-operative service to support children and young people with additional needs. Providing reasonable adjustments in preparation for your child’s surgery. You can ask your health professional for additional support from our service when discussing your child’s planned surgery.

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