"CAMHS removes autism remit"

About: Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Child and adolescent mental health

(as a carer),

We, as legal guardians of a boy with high functioning autism and attachment issues, are both upset and dismayed that CAHMS has been forced to remove their remit for autism.

We have been seeing a psychologist at the Grantham branch for some time as our guardian displays very aggressive and violent behaviour towards us. I note with interest that the CAMHS webpage for children with learning difficulties and behavioural issues makes no mention that the services on offer are not available to families coping with autism.

What is worse, its not only families who are trying to get a referral to CAMHS who are affected, we have been basically told not to come back and are now being told after all this time that, coincidentally, CAMHS cant offer us any help that would be useful.

Considering that there is no dedicated service on offer for families with autism in Lincolnshire, and my GP despairs of the lack of help out there, I think the CAMHS situation is really quite shameful.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

RESPONSE FROM GENERAL MANAGER FOR CHILD & FAMILY SERVICES

We were sorry to hear of the very difficult circumstances you are currently dealing with. We understand the frustration that families must feel when trying to access services for their children or young person with a potential diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

One of the many problems with this diagnosis is the diverse range of presentations that a child may have. Knowing which agency to access can be confusing. Whilst Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust recognise that some children may have a mental health problem as well as ASD, often there is no underlying mental health problem. CAMHS are available to children who may be suspected of having or do have a mental health problem.

Children and young people who may or do have an ASD should request a referral in the first instance to an educational psychologist. Children under seven should request a referral to our paediatric colleagues via the GP. If there continues to be growing concern then parents should be encouraged to use the Customer Care Service at the Local Authority who should arrange a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting. This will bring all agencies together to formulate a comprehensive package of care for the child based on needs. The TAC may not rquire CAMHS interventions but will ensure that education, health and social care offer the support services necessary for a child or young person.