Our service provides support to understand and meet the health needs of children with learning disabilities, global developmental delay and autism.
Our team and who we support
The Children’s Learning Disability Service are a team of experienced learning disability nurses, assistant practitioners and peer supporters. We are able to offer a service when a child or young person requires specialist support arising from their learning disability or autism and its impact on their health. We often do this by working to advise parents or other health professionals working with that child.
We work with:
Children aged 2-18 years
- with global development delay or learning disabilities
- who require specialist support beyond universal and targeted service
Children aged 2-11 years
- who have a diagnosis of autism
- we have a limited offer of services for children who are in the process of assessment for autism
What we provide:
Parents will be offered a programme or workshop as this has been shown to be the most helpful for families. The aim is to help understand and positively meet the child’s needs.
The programmes are:
- NAS EarlyBird (for parents of pre-school children with autism)
- What Now? (for parents of school-age children with autism)
- Behaviour Support Workshops (for parents of children with learning disabilities and / or autism who fit our criteria above)
- Sensory Workshops (for parents of children with learning disabilities and / or autism, or children going through an autism assessment who fit our criteria above)
- Sleep Workshops (for parents of children with learning disabilities and / or autism, or children going through an autism assessment, who fit our criteria above)
- Anxiety Workshops (for parents of children with learning disabilities and / or autism, or children going through an autism assessment, who fit our criteria above)
- Empowering Parents (for parents of children with learning disabilities who fit our criteria above)
For children/young people with a Learning Disability where a parent programme/workshop has been completed, or does not meet identified need, we can provide specialist assessments and interventions:
- Understanding behaviour
- Skills development (e.g. eating, independence skills)
- Access to health provisions / health promotion
For children with autism (without learning disabilities) where complex behavioural difficulties persist after attending an appropriate parent programme we can offer a time-limited intervention. This would support the family to develop a behaviour support plan using a Positive Behaviour Support Framework. More information on Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is available on the Positive Behavioural Support North East and North Cumbria website
In addition, we can provide advice and consultation for other health teams on how to adapt their service to make reasonable adjustment for children with learning disabilities or autism.
How to get referred
Referrals to the team are accepted from any parent, carer or professional working with a child, young person or their family. Referrals are accepted by email, telephone or by post.
Please complete the referral form and return to the service. If you require any help or assistance to complete the referral form please contact the service directly who will be able to help.
We recognise the important role parents and carers play in their child’s recovery and understand that they will on occasion need support for themselves.
We also understand that you may be a young carer. You are classed as a young carer if you are under 18 and help to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem. You may do extra jobs in and around the home, help out with other siblings or give emotional support to others.
We can advise you on how to access help and support in your caring role. Please speak to your worker or visit our Carers resources website page for more information.
Patient and Carer Involvement
We believe it is very important you, your carers and families have opportunity to design and improve our services. The Patient and Carer Involvement Service provides support to people who want to be involved in developing our services. This team provides a range of projects and activities that people can take part in. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit the Patient and Carer Involvement website pages
Points of You
Feedback is very important to us. Fill out our Points of You survey to anonymously have your say and comment on the ward or service you have experienced.