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/ Halifax: 01422 652652
/ Leeds: 0113 8314433

Neurodevelopmental Services

Neurodevelopmental Service (Autism/ADHD)

Oakdale values and embraces neurodiversity, recognising the unique strengths and challenges that come with neurodevelopmental conditions.

Oakdale also understands the importance of diagnosis in providing support and understanding to individuals, both children and adults, with Autism and/or ADHD in their daily lives. A diagnosis can play a significant role in self-identity and recognition.

Oakdale acknowledges that the differences within the autism and/or ADHD diagnosis can present challenges for individuals and their families, and specialised support may be necessary to address these challenges. A diagnosis can also be helpful in assisting others to understand the individual’s distinctive strengths and needs. For many individuals and families, a diagnosis marks the beginning of a journey that can benefit from specialised support and services.

Following an assessment, Oakdale will collaborate with you to identify recommendations and provide information about suitable specialist services.

Oakdale is actively working towards developing in-house diagnostic support services and is excited to offer these services in the near future.

Oakdale provides Autism and ADHD Assessments for children, young people and adults. Each assessment is carefully conducted by a multidisciplinary team of qualified, experienced practitioners in accordance with NICE guidelines.

Oakdale’s team of clinicians includes Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Senior Mental Health Practitioners, who work collaboratively to provide comprehensive assessment and support. An Assistant Psychologist also supports the assessment with observation or information gathering and acts as the ‘case coordinator’, as recommended in 1.5.3 within NICE Guideline [CG128].

Assessments are usually undertaken from one of Oakdale’s therapy centres in Leeds, Harrogate or Halifax, but with some elements of the service available online. Oakdale is receiving an increasing number of referrals from people further afield who are choosing Oakdale as their provider.

All assessments are tailored to the requirements of the individual, but they usually include an initial conversation with the client or the client’s parents and at least one face-to-face appointment with the client. Some complex cases could require more appointments and observations.

The assessment process includes a full developmental history, focussing on developmental and behavioural characteristics that align with DSM-V criteria. Oakdale uses a range of diagnostic tools and measures for the assessments and these are explained in more detail as part of the planning process where the best assessment pathway for the individual is decided. All of the tools and measures used by Oakdale are widely recognised to support the conclusions in Autism and/or ADHD assessments.

An Autism assessment also includes a standardised observation and interview, using the most up-to-date and evidence-based tool, called the ADOS-2 (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule).

An ADHD assessment also includes a comprehensive clinical and psychosocial assessment to gain a better understanding of the individual’s symptoms and behaviours in different domains and settings in their daily life. This involves gathering information through a full developmental and psychiatric history, observer reports, and assessing the individual’s mental state. Additionally, Oakdale uses the QbCheck, which is the only CE marked and FDA approved aid for assessing and evaluating ADHD in individuals aged 6 to 60 years old. The QbCheck provides objective and unbiased information to clinicians, enhancing their reliability in assessing ADHD.

Following the assessment sessions, the team then meets to discuss the findings and determine whether or not the individual meets the criteria for a diagnosis of Autism and/or ADHD. The team also considers differential diagnosis to ensure accuracy. 

Following this, a comprehensive report is provided detailing the outcomes of the assessment, whether a diagnosis is indicated, and a description of positive skills and areas of development. The assessment process provides a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s strengths and difficulties across various contexts. Further to this, the report will also detail recommendations for next steps, advice regarding post-diagnostic support and useful resources for the individual and their family.

Oakdale acknowledges that an individual may experience anxiety about the assessment process. Oakdale’s top priority is to maintain a flexible approach that allows ample time to build rapport and ensure clients accessing the service feel secure and well-informed throughout the assessment.

NHS LogoRight to Choose ADHD and Autism Assessments

Patients in England who are registered with a GP have the right to choose an appropriate Autism and/or ADHD assessment provider, anywhere in the country.

Oakdale are very pleased to be delivering Autism and ADHD assessments that are funded by the NHS as a contracted healthcare provider to children and adults.

To make a referral:

If you feel that you or your child requires an Autism and/or ADHD assessment and you would like this to be funded by  your local Integrated Care Board (as NHS commissioners) and delivered by Oakdale, please follow the steps below:

Oakdale will add you to our waiting list as soon as we receive the referral form back from your GP.


Current waiting times:

Current waiting list times for NHS funded assessments is approximately 12  – 18 months.

How will I be contacted?

Oakdale will get in touch with you via email or telephone so please look out for Oakdale emails. In the interest of fairness, referrals will be processed in the order they are received.

Background to Right to Choose

The NHS has been working hard in recent years to give patients more control over their healthcare requirements.

In some areas of care, patients have the right to choose the provider that delivers the service they need. This applies across a number of different areas of health services. 

The healthcare provider can be another NHS service or a private organisation. The organisation that delivers the service must be contracted with an Integrated Care Board (ICB) somewhere in England to deliver the same service. 

The right to choose a provider is, in some areas of healthcare, covered by legislation and is set out in more detail in the NHS Choice Framework.

Under the terms of this legislation, people throughout the country are encouraged to pick the provider of their choice when referred by their GP for selected, consultant-led health services. This Right to Choose applies regardless of where the patient lives or where their provider is based.

Historically, allowing patients to choose health providers was restricted to physical health care requirements. More recently, the right to choose has been extended to mental health care requirements and assessment services. This means that if someone needs to access a service for their mental health, under some circumstances, the patient can choose from a list of providers in any area. 

The right to choose a provider can sometimes mean that waiting times for assessments are shorter. 

Oakdale delivers Autism and ADHD assessments under the Right to Choose NHS framework. 

More information about your right to choose is available in the links below: 



Right to Choose FAQ’s

What is included in an RTC assessment?

Please read our ‘Specialist Assessments’ information page which details the assessment process.

Is there an age criteria for assessments?

Oakdale holds an all-age contract with an Integrated Care Board (ICB) in England and can therefore offer NHS funded assessments as follows:

If my GP does not agree to the referral, can I self-refer?

Yes, you can self-refer if you wish to pay privately. Please read our ‘Privately funded Autism and ADHD Assessments’ information page which details how to pay privately for an assessment. 

Does Oakdale offer medication for ADHD?

Oakdale does not currently offer a medication service, although this service is currently being developed and it is hoped that this will be available very soon. Should you require medication in the meantime, Oakdale will provide appropriate signposting to other services.

Does Right to Choose cover Scotland / Wales / Northern Ireland?

Unfortunately, not. You must be registered with a GP in England to be eligible for these services.

Can I pay for the initial assessment and then get refunded if I am referred later?

Unfortunately not. However, if you decide to access an assessment privately, you can then contact your GP for a referral for NHS funded treatment should you wish.

In addition to Right to Choose assessments, we also accept self-referrals for those wishing to pay for the assessment themselves.

Current waiting times:

Current waiting list times for privately funded assessments is up to 4 months.

Oakdale is pleased to be offering Complex Communication and Autism (CCA) assessments to preschool-age children in the Leeds area.

This service has been commissioned specifically for children of preschool-age who have been referred to the CCA Assessment waiting list of the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH). By adding this additional capacity, the hope is to minimise the time that local children and families will need to wait for the assessment process to begin.

Oakdale has been delivering CCA assessments on behalf of LCH since early 2020. We value the collaborative relationship we have been able to establish in Leeds with relevant organisations such as the Leeds Integrated Children with Additional Needs Service (ICAN) including Paediatricians, Speech and Language Therapists and Specialist Health Visitors, as well as various schools and nurseries.

If you have received a letter from LCH about the possibility of your child receiving an assessment with the Oakdale Centre, and have elected to proceed, we will be in touch to discuss the assessment process with you, and to arrange a convenient date for your first appointment.

More information

Please call us on 0333 323 7773 if you have any queries about what you can expect.

What are Cognitive Assessments?

Cognitive Assessments are formal assessments which aim to identify areas where an individual has strengths and those that they may have more difficulty with. By identifying the challenges that an individual is having, a greater understanding can be achieved and appropriate help put in place to ensure that they achieve their full potential. These assessments may also illustrate areas which warrant further investigation by another professional, e.g. an occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, psychiatrist or educational psychologist.

What Cognitive Assessments do Oakdale offer?

The Cognitive Assessment clinic at Oakdale is led by a team of highly trained and experienced Clinical Psychologists. We offer cognitive assessments to children and adults.
Oakdale administers the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for children and adults, which assesses cognitive abilities including concept formation, visual spatial processing, inductive reasoning, working memory, and speed of information processing. It can be completed without any reading or writing, and takes 65 to 80 minutes to complete. For children, the number of appointments (one or two) required to complete this assessment will depend on the age and concentration ability of the child. Whilst these assessments provide an overall IQ score, this overall score is not as important as understanding the profile of an individual’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses on a holistic basis. For this reason, cognitive assessments are always interpreted by an experienced psychologist.

As part of a cognitive assessment, Oakdale also offers an assessment of adaptive behaviour using the ABAS-3 (Adaptive Behaviour Assessment Scale). The ABAS-3 is a multidimensional and standardised assessment tool used to assess the functional skills necessary for daily living. This includes assessing a wide range of skill areas including: communication, community use, self-care, leisure, social, motor, functional academics, self-direction and health and safety.

What happens following the assessment?

The results of the assessment will be written up and a full report will be provided detailing the findings and any recommendations for home and school/work.

A feedback appointment can be offered to discuss these results to ensure that they are fully understood. It is the client’s choice whether they would like school/work to be informed of this assessment and involved in the provision of additional information.

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