The Health Board works in collaboration with partner organisations, such as schools, education departments, social services and third sector organisations. Our aim is to provide a no wrong door approach to support children and their families.

Our service is accessed through a Single Point of Access (SPOA) to ensure a child-centred holistic, multiagency process that best supports the individual needs of the child, regardless of a diagnosis. This uses a specialist diagnostic assessment for children and young people with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Your child may need to see different professionals to complete their assessment. This may include an Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Clinical Psychologist, Nurse Specialist, Child Psychiatrist or a Paediatrician. The assessment process may take some time to complete, as sometimes visits to your child’s school may need to be organised, as well as seeing them in the Children’s Centre.

The neurodevelopmental disorders we currently assess for include:

  •  Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder


Referrals are made to the Neurodevelopmental Single Point of Access (SPOA), where we only accept referrals from schools and GPs, unless the child/young person is electively home educated.

The service covers all of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and is based at the Children’s Centre, St David’s Hospital, Cardiff.

An online referral form is completed by a professional. This will set out the strengths and needs of the child/young person who is being referred.

Referral packs are required to be completed for the parent/carer and for the school/setting. These are uploaded to the electronic referral platform.

On receipt of the completed referral form and packs the referral will be screened by the Neurodevelopmental Single Point of Access.

When a referral is made it is not necessarily accepted by the Neurodevelopmental team.

The team will triage the referrers’ information to consider if the referral can be accepted. all referrals are considered on an individual basis using the inclusion criteria.

  • The request is accepted to the neurodevelopmental pathway and the child/young person is placed on the waiting list for an assessment appointment
  • The request is accepted although further information may be needed for additional observations or information gathering to understand the difficulties. A decision will then be made to determine if an assessment is needed
  • An assessment is not needed at this time and advice will be offered on what recommendations we feel are suitable in this instance
  • There is insufficient information and the referrer will be contacted and advised of the additional information required


Every child is unique, so therefore, every assessment will be different.

The process tends to be longer when more assessments are required.

The goal is for your child to be seen once you have returned the questionnaires.

You and your child will be seen together face to face or via video – if you don’t want to talk about difficult things in front of your child, please bring someone with you to watch your child for part of the appointment.

You will be asked lots of questions so we can find out what has influenced your child’s development.

  • It can feel scary coming to the hospital
  • Preparing them will help them know what to expect and feel less worried

Useful things to tell them:

  • The doctor will want to know you be finding out about the things you are good at and like and the things you struggle with
  • They might ask you about school, friendships and emotions
  • The doctor may listen to your heart and check your weight and height and ask about your health
  • You won’t be forced to do anything whilst we all talk together

  • Information is collected from questionnaires, parent interviews, observations of your child & specific assessments
  • Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings
  • Consolidation and Interpretation of Findings (CIF) meetings where we discuss all the information we have and try and make sense of what might be influencing your child’s difficulties

  • A diagnosis is a name we give to something to explain or identify it
  • There is no simple test which helps us identify what might be causing a child or young person’s difficulties
  • Our assessments are based on careful clinical judgement

A diagnosis will not change someone or change their behaviour, but it may help you to understand them better and support them in the right way.

Your child or young person may or may not receive a diagnosis, but we will hope to help you understand their needs.

Once the assessment is complete, there may not be a further role for us, however, we will try to refer you to the right team or service to support your child or young person where appropriate.

Having had an assessment, if there are no further medical needs, many children and young people are discharged from the service.