(see also section on Diagnosis)
Paediatricians and Clinicians
Dr Croft, Dr Banerjee and soon, Dr Kim Holt are at the CDC(Child Development Centre), St Ann's Hospital, St Ann's Road, N15 3TH. Tel 020 8442 6746. Diagnosis and follow up assessments.
Jas Singh is the dietician based at the Child Development Centre (CDC) at St Ann's Hospital, St Ann's Road, N15.. Jas also sees children at Moselle and the White Hart Lane Nursery unit. She may be able to advise upon supplements and eating habits for children who restrict their diets, or have faddy eating habits.St Ann's Tel: 8442 6746
(useful reading matter available from NAS Publications, Amazon.co.uk or from Haringey Autism Library - Can't Eat, Won't Eat by Brenda Legge. Just Take a Bite, by Lori Ernsberger, Autism as a metabolic disorder/gluten and casein free diets for people with autism, by Paul Shattock)
Many of our children have dyspraxia, poor muscle tone or lack physical co-ordination which affects movement, handwriting, eating food and holding cutlery. They can be under or over sensitive to touch, smell, taste, sound and light and more.(known as sensory integration disorder, or sensory regulation disorder if you want to look up further information on the internet) The CDC's occupational therapy service, (based in the 'mainstream' dept) can be over-subscribed and under-manned and should in a perfect world see children with autism as a matter of course but do not have the resources to do so and at present see virtually none.. Tel: 020 8442 6137. If you feel strongly your child should be seen as he/she obviously has the need to be seen, you could threaten with a legal threat that that this is discrimination by diagnosis which is illegal but you may need to go to tribunal and have a written professional report of the child's OT needs.
(Leigh Day and Co are solicitors who are interested in this area)
In the absence of OT provision, I strongly suggest that parents educate themselves about how sensory difficulties may affect our children and learn some techniques themselves. Start with the checklist on www.sensory-processing-disorder
Speech and language therapy
This comes under the health department though in a way education might seem a better home for it. There is never enough of it and the children with the most severe problems in the special schools definitely get the best service. Those with speech and who are more able rarely get enough of the real benefits that a speech and language therapist could provide with social skills, auditory processing, use of language, understanding of gesture, sarcasm, idiom etc, use of visual supports etc. They often just get a few hours a year of turn taking and game playing in a small group, and general advice given to the classroom assistant.
The Speech and language therapy department are based in numerous locations around the borough but the HQ is in building G1 at St Ann's Hospital, St Ann's Road, N15.
Ask for as much SLT (Speech and language therapy) as possible in your child's statement - make a huge fuss if it doesn't take place.
Learn what you can do yourself as a parent for your child - See the back of this pack for suggestions.
Your health visitor should be your first port of call re toilet training. However this is no easy area for many autistic children and the NAS produce some good books and a free online factsheet on the subject filled with ideas that have worked for different families. If your child is over the age of three(this may soon change to four), has an ASD diagnosis, and still needs nappies for day or night-times, (and for the majority will for some years still, at least at nights), you can get them free through your special school nurse, your health centre or GP. Generally you are given nappies, but request pull-ups if your child is averse to nappies. Nappies and pull-ups become very expensive in the larger sizes, so for older children especially this can be a sizeable saving. If you meet a problem getting free nappies, call the ever helpful Sue Davies, specialist health visitor at the CDC on 020 8442 6336.
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is based at St Ann's. Autism often co-exists alongside other disorders (co-morbidity). For additional problems associated with autism such as anxiety, depression, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), tourettes, tics, ADHD etc, children are seen by Dr Reenee Barton, Jessie Earle and a team of psychologists/psychiatrists. Tel 020 8442 6467. The SCAN, a joint CDC/CAMHS service is for children for severe learning difficulties who develop mental health problems - these children are often seen in their school settings.
Depending on policy at any given time, referrals can also sometimes be made to The Tavistock, Maudsley Hospital ( The PDD Clinic or Psychiatry Clinic), Gt Ormond Street Hospital or to The Royal Free Hospital's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Dept.
Sometimes a change of educational or living provision may be required, or cognitive or behavioural therapy, and sometimes drugs such as Ritalin, Risperidone, aripiprazole, mood stablisers and anti-depressants can do also wonders! Dr Santosh at Gt Ormond Street Hospital is highly experienced at prescribing medication for difficult cases.
(the Tavistock Clinic in North London provide a psycho-therapeutic service. The private London Children's Practice can supply cognitive behavioural therapy.tel 020 7224 1156. Private Asperger life coach Bill Goodyear at www.billgoodyear.org gets good feedback from parents)
Suggested reading, from NAS publications 'Mental health in people with autism and Asperger Syndrome: a guide for health professionals' £1.50.
Dentistry - Special needs dentist for autistic children who cannot cope with a regular dentist based at Tynemouth Road Health Centre, Tynemouth Road, N15.
Health - Going private
PRIVATE HEALTH CARE IN HARINGEY FOR SPECIAL NEEDS:
The London Children's Practice - a private service in Welbeck Street, W1 offering many health services to children with autism including a paediatric neurologist, consultant psychologist, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, sensory integration, specialist feeding programmes for selective eaters, anger management, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy.tel 020 7224 1156.
There is a private dentistry clinic at 30, Fortis Green, East Finchley, N2 Tel: 8444 3413 where Malcolm Levenkind offers dentistry services to children with special needs.
Sensory integration - For children with sensory difficulties around sound, Auditory Integration Training,and light, contact:Pauline Allen at The Sound Learning Centre in Palmers Green. Tel: 020 8882 1060
Private occupational therapy - Try Melinda Silson at c.o.t.s Childrens Occupational Therapy Services on 020 8855 2430 based at 35 Kingsdale Road, SE18. …or try the Hope Centre. 020 8809 8240