School Aged Neurodevelopment Pathway for Autism. 

The children’s school aged neurodevelopment pathway is managed by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching NHS Trust within the Childrens Community Specialist Services and is overseen by the Neurodevelopment Pathway Manager.

The service is delivered across the Wigan Borough and will accept referrals to the pathway for children and young people who are aged from 4 to 16 years old.


Flowchart of the pathway process.


Referrals to the pathway are accepted by:

G.Ps, Paediatricians, Education settings, CAMHS & Specialist Health Services. The referrals can be sent to the pathway via email or post using the details below.


School Aged Autism referral.


School Aged Neurodevelopment team

Platt Bridge Health Centre

Rivington Avenue


WN2 5NG.

0300 707 1446


Patient information leaflet


Meet the team.

Emma Wilson - Specialist Nurse for Early Years / Team Lead for Early Years Health and Development Team & Team Lead for School Aged Neurodevelopment Pathway Service.


Emma Nicholls – School Aged Neurodevelopment Pathway Manager.


Rachael Major - Neurodevelopment Pathway Co-Ordinator.


Vicky Sanford - Clerical Officer: Early Years Health and Development/Neurodevelopment Team.


Information gathering. 


As part of the information gathering process, the school aged pathway will need the following documents completed to form part of the assessment.


Parent Cambridge Questionnaire, to be completed by parent/carer. 

School Cambridge Questionnaire, to be completed by the school/education setting.

Parent & Carer views & consent, to be completed by parent/carer.

School summary of need, to be completed by the child/young person’s teacher/teacher assistant.

Voice of the child document, to be completed where possible by the child or young person.


Once the referral has been triaged and accepted by the pathway, we will send these documents to the family & education setting to be completed and returned to the pathway team.


Parent and child pack. 

Parent views/ Parent consent

Parent Cambridge Questionnaire

Voice of the child

Education pack.

School Summary of need

School Cambridge Questionnaire




As part of the pathway process, assessments need to be undertaken, the child or young person referred into the pathway will be need a social communication assessment and/or (ADOS) autism diagnostic observation schedule by a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. The child or young person will also need a clinical face to face assessment by a Paediatrician. 


Diagnostic Panel.


Once all the above information & assessments have taken place the child or young person will then be booked onto the next available diagnostic panel appointment.

The panel is chaired by the Neurodevelopment Pathway Manager, the panel members consist of at least one of the following services.



Special Educational needs & disability team (SEND team)

Social Care services

Educational Psychology (EPS)

Targeted Education Support Services (TESS)

Speech and Language Therapy Team (SALT)

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Occupational Therapy (OT)


Each child or young person`s case will be discussed during the panel, during the discussion the pathway manager alongside the paediatrician will complete a DSM-5 assessment tool to review whether the child or young person meets the criteria for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition. 


Post Diagnosis.


 After the panel decision is agreed, parents/carers will receive an outcome letter including all reports that contributed to the decision making. 

If the outcome was yes to diagnosis, then the child or young person’s family will be invited to a post diagnostic session with the Neurodevelopment Pathway Co-Ordinator, these are held across the borough and give families the opportunity to link up and network together. The Neurodevelopment Pathway Co-Ordinator will share a presentation at the session, focusing on what is Autism, the difficulties some children and young people may face and how to support them as a family including lots of information sharing on local community groups, strategies and advice.


For the families who cannot make a post diagnosis session we have a QR code inputted to the bottom of the outcome letter, this QR code will take the family to a WWL website which will have all the supportive information and signposting which would have been shared during the session.


If the panel decision was no to diagnosis, then the child or young person will stay on our pathway as a patient for 12 months, this is a 12-month waiting period should any further concerns arise the child or young person can be referred back onto the pathway for the process to start again if required. After the 12 months wait if no further referrals are made to the pathway the child or young persons period of care with the Neurodevelopment pathway team will end.


If the panel decision was to defer this means the panel felt more information was required and the decision was in-conclusive. The outcome letter will share what further information is required and the pathway will request this information on behalf of the child or young person. Once the required information is received the child or young person will be allocated another panel date where the case will be re discussed with the additional information obtained.


The service also facilitates various specialist topic training throughout the year, which runs online and is accessible via the Local Offer or Eventbrite. All families at any stage of the assessment process are welcome to attend the range of topics available.