Screening Pathway for Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorder

Working with schools to support children with potential childhood ASD, the initial project linked education and NHS data and used new algorithms to identify children requiring neurodevelopmental support. This resulted in new referrals for ASD diagnosis. 


The diagnosis for children with ASD process is lengthy and parents and children have to wait for sometimes 3 to 4 years to receive a diagnosis. This is in part due to the late identification/ formal diagnosis of children which then leads to delay in appropriate support and interventions for families.


Using linked datasets, the CY CHC team segmented population health data to identify children that had received a diagnosis of Child ASD. Linking health care data to educational and socio economic datasets, it was found that there is late diagnosis of autism in families with low income, ethnic minorities and families with low education. Working at the intersection of health and education gave an opportunity to explore how fast track assessment and subsequent early interventions could be developed in Bradford.


The CY CHC completed a pilot project across 10 schools in Bradford with early indications that children with potential ASD are accessing interventions earlier and that there is a potential to reduce inequity in provision of assessment at each intervention. The pilot project was delivered in collaboration with schools, educational psychologists from the Local Authority, psychiatrists and the CAMHS team (including support from the medical director of the local care trust) from Bradford, Leeds and York.


Using the dataset and algorithms developed by CY CHC, from a cohort of 600 children, 35 children were assessed and all were identified as requiring neurodevelopmental support with 9 as being at risk of ASD diagnosis. The local CCGs are currently reviewing external funding options for developing this project to a larger cohort of students potentially across 60 schools.

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