Your assessment

When will your assessment be?

This will vary, depending if you have been referred for a diagnostic assessment, or if you have been referred for treatment for a neurodevelopmental condition or issue associated to one.

The waiting list for a diagnostic assessment

There is currently a significant wait for an appointment within the NDC Service due to very high demands (approximately 30 months).

If you or your young person require support whilst waiting for an appointment with us, this may be offered through other CAMHS teams or outside agencies. You do not need to wait for our assessment for support to be put in place – please refer to our advice section for further information.

The assessment

First appointments are sometimes called assessments. The face to face assessment involves meeting with the child or young person and the family to discuss their views. There are usually two clinicians involved. Parents will complete a detailed developmental history with one of our clinicians, whilst a different clinician observes and completes activities with the child or young person. This appointment usually lasts approximately 2 hours and no further appointments may be necessary.


In order to offer alternative formats to deliver our assessments, we have partnered with Healios. At present these assessments have shorter waiting times.

What is Healios?

Healios carry out assessments online using a secure video link. All you need is a smart device (not a phone) or computer and access to the internet. These assessments are completed by qualified and experienced clinicians. The NDC work closely with Healios to ensure their assessment process is very similar to ours and all post diagnosis support is available.

Not everyone will be eligible for this option as it will depend on the complexity of your need and reason for referral to us. People that are offered this alternative do not have to accept and can wait for a face to face appointment if they prefer.

To find out more about Healios please refer to the leaflet below or visit their website (

Healios leaflet (pdf)

Please do not contact Healios until the NDC have informed you of eligibility for online assessment.

Non-urgent advice: Information for parents

If you are coming for a Neuro Developmental Conditions appointment, this usually means that we are looking for signs and symptoms of Autism, ADHD and possibly Tics and Tourette’s.

Typically, you will sign in at Reception then wait in our waiting area to be called by the leading clinician (named on your appointment letter).

We will then start off in a room altogether (usually parents, young person, leading clinician and another clinician who will be spending time with your child).

The assessment will be explained then you will remain with the leading clinician, so they can listen to your thoughts and any concerns. A detailed developmental history will be taken (which involves asking you questions about your child such as their birth, early milestones (e.g. when they learnt to walk), medical history, their interests, friendships etc.

The more accurate information we can gather the better but please do not worry if you cannot answer some of the questions.

Your time with the clinician usually lasts between 1 -2 hours and then we will all meet back together to decide on the ‘next step’. You will then be able to leave the clinic.

Information for children and young people

We know that coming to a new place can sometimes be difficult, but we are here to help. If you are coming for an NDC appointment, this usually means that we are looking for signs and symptoms of something called Autism (a different way of seeing the world), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (difficulty sitting still and concentrating) and possibly Tics and Tourette’s (noises or movements that you cannot control).

So what will happen at the appointment?

  1. Typically, you will wait in our waiting area at Maple House (which has seats, magazines and a chalk board) to be called by someone. Your parents can tell you the name of the person or people you will meet. You can always get your parents to call us and ask if they are unsure.
  2. You will then walk to a quiet room with your parents and meet 1 or 2 friendly clinicians’ so that we can all meet each other.
  3. You will then spend time with one of the clinician’s in a room close to your parents. The clinician will want to get to know you and will ask you some questions about yourself (such as what you enjoy doing and how you are feeling). You will be asked to join in with some activities such as looking at a story book. This is not a test and there is no writing!
  4. You will usually spend between 1-2 hours with the clinician, but you can have a break if needed.
  5. If we finish before your parents, then we may be able to play a game such as UNO or Connect 4.
  6. You may only have to visit us once, but we will talk with you if you need to come back again for any reason

Once the assessment process is complete all the information is carefully considered by the multidisciplinary team. The family are usually invited to a feedback appointment a week or two later (providing no further information gathering is required) to discuss the outcome of the assessment and the next steps.

Feedback can sometimes be given on the day or via telephone, but this may not always be possible. A confirmation of diagnosis letter is provided at the feedback meeting (if applicable) and a report of the full assessment within 8 weeks.

The report outlines how the team reached its conclusion, but also provides a set of recommendations to be followed by families and professionals.

Please note

Even if you or your child does not meet diagnostic criteria threshold, we will still provide a report and make recommendations.

Page last reviewed: 7 September, 2021