Assessment for children without a diagnosis


I am wondering if anyone can clarify the legislation/guidance around accessing social care/SDS for children who are yet to get a diagnosis?

I am aware of a few cases where our LA’s children and disability team have not carried out an assessment because a child does not have a diagnosis “and therefore does not meet the criteria for our team.” In one case, this involves a 3-year-old with quite high support needs and suspected ASD (based on several professional opinions), but who is waiting for an ASD assessment. The mum is looking for additional support, as she has other children in the household and is struggling to keep them all safe, for example, when she is cooking.

Any knowledge/experience would be helpful. Thanks

It should always be based on assessed needs, not diagnostic criteria, and in some cases of obscure ailments and syndromes, a diagnosis may take years.
I know some folk with Down Syndrome who are living independently, others like my son who need a lot more support with eg meds.

This is what the LA’s eligibility criteria states:

"The Children and Disability Team will offer an assessment (under Sect. 23 Children (Scotland) Act 1995) where the child has a condition diagnosed by a Doctor or Consultant which is substantial, long lasting or permanent, physical and or a learning disability or a life limiting, life threatening condition.

These may include:
• Severe learning disabilities;
• Severe physical disabilities;
• Severe developmental delay in motor and or cognitive functioning;
• Profound multiple disabilities;
• Complex and severe health problems that arise from the disability, that are life threatening, degenerative illness or organic disorder resulting in severe disability;
• A diagnosis of Autism with an associated learning disability and where the condition severely affects day to day functioning;

Children and Young people with a sole diagnosis of ADHD are not eligible for referral."

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Yes, I mean strictly speaking, those are descriptions of impairment and needs rather than diagnoses. In other words, the medical cause of the condition does not have to be specified.