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Worries about your child's health and development

If you're worried about your child, you should speak to someone about your concerns. Though all children develop at a different rate, speak to a professional if you feel that there may be a problem.

For more information, see our health and development leaflet (PDF).

Child development team

The child development team includes many services, such as:

Most babies and young children make progress and learn new skills as expected, but some need extra help.

If the hospital thinks your baby could have development needs in the future, they may refer you to local services in Enfield. You can ask your health visitor to check if these referrals have been made.

You may not be aware your child has development problems until they start to grow. This may be concerns about them not sitting up, walking or talking at the expected age.

If you're worried about your child's development, you should speak to your GP or health visitor. You can also speak to a children's centre outreach worker or the special needs coordinator (SENCo) at your child's nursery, school or playgroup.

Often just getting advice and reassurance from a professional can help with your concerns. All professionals will want to work with you. You are the expert on your child and they will want to hear your views and share their expertise to secure the best possible outcomes for your child.

The Enfield Advisory Service for Autism (EASA) supports autistic children and young people aged 0 to 25. They work with educational settings and parents to increase understanding of autism, and develop services and support.

EASA is made up of the combined outreach services of both specialist autism schools in Enfield, Russet House School (nursery and primary) and Durants School (secondary and post-16). The service benefits from the vast experience of staff from these schools, as well as partnering with autism specialists from Enfield and beyond.

EASA works with the Autism Education Trust (AET) to raise awareness and promote positive attitudes towards autistic people in schools, communities and places of work.

EASA provides training programmes, including AET modules. They also give practical advice through workshops and surgeries, and provide bespoke support for educational settings and parents. Most of this is free to access for Enfield school staff and Enfield parents.

Support available from EASA:

For more information, visit Enfield Advisory Service for Autism or follow EASA on Twitter and Facebook.

Toolkit and resources

Children with Down Syndrome follow a specified pathway from birth through to school age. Families and children will be supported on a regular basis through this journey by a range of professionals.

Cheviots Specialist Children's Centre run a weekly group called Down Town during term time. Each week the children enjoy the communication sessions with a specialist. This supports the development of early communication skills, signing, building facial muscles and encouraging reading. The group provides an opportunity for parents to share information, and build networks. Brothers and sisters can also attend.

For more information about Down Town, email cheviots@enfield.gov.uk or contact the team on 020 8363 4047. You can also contact the child development team on 020 8375 2979 or visit the Down's Syndrome Association.

Referrals can be made by GPs, therapists, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and health visitors. The assessment process can take up to ten months, depending on the type of assessment needed. For general paediatric assessments, appointments are likely to be within six months.

Referral criteria for children under six

Children must live in Enfield and have had an assessment by their health visitor. Their developmental problem must require assessment in at least two of the following:

  • communication
  • feeding
  • behavioural
  • motor
  • vision
  • learning
  • hearing
  • developmental delay

Or one of the following:

  • isolated significant motor difficulty
  • a newborn born at less than 26 weeks
  • a newborn with existing or a high likelihood of developing neurodevelopmental problems

Referral criteria for children over six

Children must live in Enfield, attend a special school, and have complex needs where input from two therapies is needed. They must also have significant motor problems with suspected neurological cause and be referred via a paediatric physiotherapist, GP or paediatrician.

We can conduct a neurological assessment of children with oromotor difficulties if requested by a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT). We can also follow up with children who have severe brain injuries.

Requests for individual therapies such as physiotherapy should be sent to those departments directly.

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