Social Communication and Autism Assessment Service (SCAAS)

Our team is made up of clinical psychologists, paediatricians, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists. We offer assessment of social communication to understand if a child is on the Autism Spectrum. As part of this assessment we may identify other differences in a child’s presentation (e.g. Developmental Language Disorder, ADHD). Assessment is tailored for each child. Some limited post diagnostic support is offered to families, typically in the form of a group.

We accept referrals for children aged from birth to 11 years of age, registered with a Gloucestershire GP. Referrals are accepted from any professional who knows the child well, however we cannot accept referrals from parents or self-referrals.


What are the signs of autism in children?

Signs of autism in younger children can include:

  • not responding to their name
  • avoiding eye contact
  • not smiling when you smile at them
  • getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell or sound
  • repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers or rocking their body
  • not talking as much as other children
  • repeating the same phrases

Signs in older children can include:

  • not seeming to understand what others are thinking or feeling
  • finding it hard to say how they feel
  • liking a strict daily routine and getting very upset if it changes
  • having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities
  • getting very upset if you ask them to do something
  • finding it hard to make friends or preferring to be on their own
  • taking things very literally – for example, they may not understand phrases like “break a leg”
What do I need to do before making a referral?

Due to the complexity and range of presentations we expect referrers to have discussed each child within a consultation slot with the team prior to making a full referral. Referrals are then discussed in a multi-disciplinary forum to ensure we are the right service to offer further assessment.

A child should be known on the graduated pathway and have at least a my plan in place, with support from relevant professionals before considering a referral to our service. The professionals who may be involved include; SENCO, Early Years Service, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Advisory teaching, Educational Psychology. It may be helpful to have a period of support through the graduated pathway to monitor changes before considering requesting a diagnostic assessment.

How long might it be before I hear back about a referral?

It will be around two weeks until we make our first contact. There is a significant wait for assessment, due to a combination of the need to understand the child’s presentation across contexts and the current high demand for assessments.

When the child has been discussed at our Multi-disciplinary team meeting we will write to the family and referrer to explain what will happen next and, where possible, anticipated timeframes. The graduated pathway will continue to offer monitoring and support whilst the child is await further assessment through our service.

Contact Us


Call: 01452 895290

Write to us at Rikenel, Gloucester, GL1 1LY

Unfortunately, due to administrative pressures we are unable to respond to queries about the position of specific children on our waiting list.