A new private autism diagnosis and assessment service will be available on the Isle of Wight from the end of September.
Bridges for Learning educational psychology neurodevelopmental service will be offering a full service. Parents will have to pay £1,700 for the diagnosis, although some parent groups are looking into funding.
The service adheres to the clinical excellence guidelines set by NICE (National Institute for Care and Clinical Excellence).
CCG backlog of assessments
Some parents have been waiting up to two years for a diagnosis after the Autism Research Diagnostic Centre in Southampton closed for referrals last October.
A backlog of 150 referrals are still waiting to be assessed.
The Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (IW CCG) is responsible for commissioning a replacement service, to be run by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.
Health chiefs have warned it could take up to a year to clear the backlog.
The trust has recruited Professor Jeremy Turk, who will be working two days a week to clear the backlog and prioritise new assessments.
Private practice steps forward
However, Bridges for Learning, based in Denmark Road, Cowes, has recruited a team of four clinical experts to provide the private diagnoses for parents, including a consultant nurse who used to work at the ADRC.
Children will be seen within more than one context (such as school and home), which was not previously available under mainland providers.
Education psychologist and service manager for Bridges For Learning, Siobhan Aubin said:
“We feel very strongly the diagnosis should not be viewed as an ‘end’ and will therefore be offering a neurodevelopmental assessment complemented by our ‘wrap around service ‘for post diagnosis support.
“The wrap around service‘ will include follow up work at a child’s school/ pre-school setting and sign-posting to our associate therapeutic services including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and psychological therapies.
“This will include direct and indirect therapeutic intervention for the management of anxiety, emotional regulation and challenging behaviour.”
Children awaiting diagnosis known to practice
The service currently works in Isle of Wight schools, and Ms Aubin said many of the children awaiting a diagnosis were already known to them.
Referral forms will be available from Monday, 3rd September, but parents are encouraged to find out more about the service before making a referral.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed