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Child and Adolescent Autism and Related Disorders Service

How our service can help you

The Autism and Related Disorders (ARD) Team is a multidisciplinary assessment and intervention service for children and young people up to the age of 18 years old, who present with a neurodevelopmental or mental health conditions. The ARD Team offers second opinions on diagnoses, consultation to families and professionals and developing and implementing care plans for intervention.

  • Service Type: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (National and Specialist) Service Borough Covers: National (Child and Adolescent services) Treatment type: Outpatient
  • Contact the service

    Site Location: Maudsley Hospital Email: Fax Number: 020 3228 2535
  • Disabled Access:
    • Wheelchair accessible building
    • Ground floor therapy rooms
    • Accessible toilets on all levels
    • Lift access to the 1stfloor.
  • Address: Michael Rutter Centre
    Maudsley Hospital
    De Crespigny Park,
    SE5 8AZ
  • Business Hours/Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Other essential information

  • Conditions: Autism, Childhood degenerative disorders, Learning disabilities

More Info

Our team puts multi-disciplinary perspectives at the core of all our work.

Our service includes the following disciplines:

  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Clinical psychology
  • Specialist occupational therapy
  • Specialist speech and language therapy
  • NAS Specialist Autism Education Lead

Our service does not include paediatrics or paediatric neurology. We have close links with other teams within the Trust, King’s Health Partners and the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), and have clinical and research expertise at an international level.

Our team specialises in the assessment and treatment of children and young people with ASD and their families. We provide a multidisciplinary approach to understanding presentations of children and young people who may, or may not, have ASD in combination with additional mental health, emotional and behavioural difficulties; and in the context of complex social and family histories and/or genetic, learning or other developmental vulnerabilities.

We provide views on differential and additional diagnoses and management of associated difficulties using a range of multidisciplinary approaches. We bring together information from previous assessments and our own assessments to develop evidence-based working diagnostic formulations and intervention care plans with young people and their parents or carers in collaboration with local services.

We provide advice on psychotropic medication use in neuro-developmental or neuro-psychiatric conditions, cognitive and neuropsychology functioning, adapted individual psychological interventions to develop coping strategies and skills in young people with neurodevelopmental conditions, specialist occupational therapy, speech and language assessment and interventions, behavioural interventions with parents or carers and optimising continuity in approaches within the system around the child and specialist educational consultation and advice.

If this was not what you were looking for:

The Autism and Related Disorders Team works closely with the SCAAND service and associated multidisciplinary streams to see young people who have, or might have, neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or intellectual disability with additional mental health or behaviour problems, as well as young people with psychological problems associated with head injury, functional conditions or genetic conditions. Our teams work together and refer between services as necessary.  

This page relates to the Autism and Related Disorders Team, which provides a specialist service funded for by local areas (CCG funded).  Alternatively, for details of other CCG funded specialist teams for young people without Intellectual Disability, please see: 

For information on the NHS England funded pathway for young people with Intellectual Disability at risk of admission to hospital or with complex autism presentations, please see: 



  • Psychiatric formulation and diagnosis
  • Cognitive and neuropsychological assessment
  • Functional assessment of behaviours that challenge
  • Motor, sensory and adaptive skills assessment
  • Speech and language assessment
  • Educational consultation
  • Physical examination with an emphasis on neurological examination


Individual Interventions:

  • Psychoeducation with the young person and/or their parent/carer or school
  • Medication management and advice in collaboration with local prescriber
  • Behavioural intervention and positive behavioural support
  • Individual psychological intervention with young person for emotional literacy and regulation; cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with individualised adaptation for neurodevelopmental differences
  • Sensory integration recommendations and intervention
  • Specialist speech and language recommendations and intervention
  • Educational advice and consultation
  • Professional Consultation with local CAMHS and services: regarding the young person’s presenting issues to inform and guide care planning for assessment and interventions

Eligibility criteria

  • Children and young people below 18 years of age
  • Previously seen for assessment by local child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) or child health service responsible, and who support the request for specialist team input and can advise and be available to provide local risk management
  • Where there is a standing query on the presence of a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other co-occurring neurodevelopmental diagnoses, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disability Tourette’s syndrome, following assessments through the local pathway
  • Where there is a query on the presence of co-occurring mental health conditions or behaviours that are a challenge to manage in individuals with a diagnosis of ASD or other neurodevelopmental conditions, and support has been already attempted locally



  • Self–referrals from the child, young person, parent or from primary care referral without the knowledge and agreement of local CAMHS, or the child health service
  • Children and young people not known to their local tier 3 CAMHS or child health services
  • Individuals who are 18 years or older, or we will be unable to be seen before the young person turns 18 years
  • Direct inpatient assessment and management for young people at risk of admission, or who have been admitted to inpatient units, is not provided by this service


Our outcomes include:

  • To develop a holistic and understanding of the child’s needs and strengths
  • To help the young person, family and professional network have a shared understanding of their profile and how to better meet their needs
  • To help the young person and family identify goals that are meaningful for them and will make a difference for their lives
  • To improve the young person’s emotional literacy and regulation skills and reduce frequency and intensity of emotional outbursts
  • To optimise the emotional wellbeing of the young person and their family
  • To improve parental confidence in coping and implementation of strategies to support their child’s behaviour
  • To help facilitate development of strategies and environmental adaptations to support the child in different aspects of their life, such as school and leisure activities
  • To help optimise the young person’s ability to communicate or be understand by others
  • To improve a young person’s ability to understand and manage social situations

Care Options

Care option: Assessment

Unit: Per assessment

Description: A full multidisciplinary assessment to address the specific referral question. This may include diagnostic assessments or assessments to guide and inform care plans for intervention. Typical components of these comprehensive assessments include:

  • A detailed review of previous assessments and reports
  • Psychiatric and developmental history with parents/carers
  • Standardised assessments with the young person
  • Physical examination
  • Mental state assessment
  • Analysis of questionnaires
  • Face-to-face feedback of the assessment results with the parent/carer and optionally the young person
  • A comprehensive assessment and recommendations report, summarising the above in detail

Some assessments may require a school or home visit, or additional speech and language, occupational therapy or psychometric assessments which will incur additional charges


Care option: Treatment

Unit: Per session

Description: All forms of multidisciplinary treatments are funded in the same manner, in units of up to one hour per professional.


Care option: Consultation

Unit: Per contact

Description: Professional consultation is offered for complex case discussions between professionals. This will be the referring team and senior members of our neuropsychiatry team.

Our experts

Professor Tony Charman, Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Nicoletta Adamo, Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Read more

Dr Sarah Thompson, Principal Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Jenny Breen, Clinical Psychologist - Read more

Dr Laura Wilby, Specialist Autism Education Lead - Read more

Gill Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist - Read more

Vicky Johnstone, Specialist Occupational Therapist - Read more

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