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Making a referral

Making a referral


Making a referral

Only children and young people with suspected autism and functional difficulties associated with autism will be accepted for an autism assessment. See the referral criteria page for more details.

Not all children are accepted for an autism assessment and an assessment does not always result in an autism diagnosis.

Before considering an autism assessment we recommend that families and access resources outlined on the advice and signposting page to help make a plan to support the child better. You will be asked in the referral about what you have already put in place and how your child has responded to these measures.

Who can make a referral?

  • Parents and carers
  • Health care professionals: e.g. community paediatricians, speech and language therapists, GPs, school health nurses
  • Education staff e.g. Early Years setting or school Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

How do I make a referral?

    1. Check that the child or young person meets the referral criteria.
    2. Complete all the essential referral documents listed below. It is important that you give detailed evidence of any significant difficulties the child or young person experiences at home and educational and social settings that impact the their life and any support or interventions that have been put into place to help them. Please complete documents electronically and send by email if possible.
    3. Send completed referral information with all the essential documents by email to:

If you are a professional and are aware a family will have difficulties completing this referral, please support them to do so. If not possible to complete electronically, please call us on 0300 1256 206/7 for postal information.

If you are a parent or carer making a self-referral and you need help to complete these forms, please ask a friend or a professional to support you. Alternatively, please call us on 0300 1256 206/7 for advice on completing the forms.

Essential referral documents

Please complete the Social Communication Questionnaires appropriate for the age of your child.

The following four documents must all be included:

1. Single Point of Entry Form

2. Social Communication Questionnaire Home (complete relevant age form)

3. Social Communication Questionnaire Setting (complete relevant age form)

4. Clinical Prioritisation Form


We recommend that the child or young person completes a Young Person Social Communication Questionnaire if they are able to do so.

Where a child or young person has parents/carers who are separated we recommend that both parents complete the social communication questionnaire relevant for your child’s age.

Please complete electronically if possible using the current forms and email the referral. Referrals using previous versions of the questionnaires will not be accepted.

If you are unable to fill out these forms and send via email please call us on 0300 1256 206/7 for postal information

What happens after a referral is made?

The referral will be triaged by members of the autism team and informed if the referral has been accepted or not.

Accepted Referrals

If the referral is accepted, the child or young person’s name will be added to the waiting list. See the information about the autism assessment page for more information.

Referrals that are not accepted

Referrals are not accepted if:

  • The information provided does not suggest an autism profile
  • Essential referral documents are missing
  • There is not enough detail about the functional impact (how the difficulties are affecting the child or young person and their taking part in daily activities of life).

If the referral is not accepted, the team may suggest other professionals who can help or may signpost to other support services. In some situations the referral will be forwarded to a different service within Sirona.

If you and professionals around the child consider there is important information which would change the triage decision, which has not been taken into account, please resubmit the whole referral with the additional information.

What if the situation changes while waiting for assessment?

Over time the needs of a child and young person changes. If the difficulties have increased significantly and the young person now meets prioritisation criteria. Complete the Clinical Prioritisation Form and send to

Coming for an appointment

We carry out a detailed assessment of each child or young person, and the type of appointment will depend on their need.

Appointment invitations will include information about the type of appointment offered and how to get to your appointment, including public transport details. Please contact the service for more information.

Other services and support

Our advice and signposting page provides information that will be useful for children and young people.

These resources are available for children and young people and you do not need a diagnosis or be waiting to see a health professional within children’s services to use them.