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QUESTION: I’m a parent in Highland and I think my child might have autism, who should I contact?


There are various options:-

  • If your child is of pre-school age, contact your GP or Health Visitor.
  • If your child is already known to a service such as Speech and Language Therapy, contact them to discuss your concerns.
  • If the child is of school age then contact the head teacher at the school to request a meeting.

If there are sufficient concerns to consider a neuro-developmental assessment then a referral will be made to a Community Paediatrician and Speech and Language Therapist who will work together to assess your child.


QUESTION: What is the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service?


The neurodevelopmental assessment service has been developed to provide an assessment process and diagnostic pathway for children and young people presenting with neurodevelopmental difficulties.

These may include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Many neurodevelopmental difficulties overlap and interact. The team will develop a clear profile of ongoing needs, whether or not a specific diagnosis is given at the end of the process.  

You may have been given details about the service if there have been concerns raised regarding your child’s development which indicate that he/she may have a neurodevelopmental difficulty.


QUESTION: Who is in the team?


The team includes the following professionals:

  • Community Paediatricians
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Clinical and Assistant Psychologists

The professionals your child will see depends on their presenting difficulties. Information and support will also be sought from a range of other professionals that currently or historically may have been involved with your child.

QUESTION: What is a neudevelopmental difficulty?


Neurodevelopmental difficulties can affect children and young people’s development, including their learning, motor skills, communication, behaviour and/or social development. Children and young people may experience difficulties across different areas.

These areas could include:

  • Independence Skills
  • Motor skills
  • Communication / Social Interaction /

Social Communication Skills

  • Play/Flexibility
  • Sensory/Regulation
  • Academic and Learning
  • Attention, Memory, Organisation and Planning Skills
  • Emotional Wellbeing / Mental Health
  • Attachment and Relationships

While symptoms and behaviours often change as a child grows older, some difficulties are more long-standing. Assessing your child’s profile of needs can be complex and usually involves a range of professionals. This approach is described as multi-agency or multi disciplinary.


QUESTION: How long might I have to wait to see a professional?

There are waiting lists for services. Most services aim to offer a first appointment within 18 weeks.Services are constantly working to reduce waiting times for families.


QUESTION: Can I self-refer my child for help?

A referral will often come from another professional. If you have any concerns you can contact your GP, Health Visitors or school in the first instance.


QUESTION: What do Occupational Therapists do?

You can see more about the help that can be provided by Occupational Therapists on the Sensory Differences. How Can I Help? website page.

You can also read a leaflet to tell you more Occupational therapy services.pdf 


QUESTION: How can I contact the neurodevelopmental service and find out more?


We would suggest that you speak with your child’s Health Visitor, School or Professionals you may already be involved with. Information about neurodevelopmental difficulties or this service can also be found on the CHIP+ website, which is available at www.chipplus.org.uk.

Alternatively you can contact CHIP+ at:

Birnie Development Centre, Raigmore Hospital, IV2 3UJ
Telephone: 01463 711189
Email: info@chipplus.org.uk




The Pines
Drummond Road,

01463 720 030