Doncaster: General Development Assessment information

On this page you will see information on Doncaster neurodevelopment assessments for young people including referrals, pathway details, who is involved and how long the process will take. 
How can I get a referral?

Schools support children with additional needs through an ‘assess, plan, do and review’ graduated response which means that early years services and schools will lead on the request for assessment, not GPs. 

This is because they will have more information about children, information that clinicians need to be able to make a good assessment. Early years services and schools will be supported by health visitors. 

You will need to contact the school's early years service /staff and they will assess needs and will try to optimise help and support set up a review process in which a child's health information is gathered at school.  Should the concerns continue and a neurodevelopmental assessment is felt appropriate, the school team will make a referral to community paediatricians.

What if my child isn't in an early year setting?

If your child is not in an early years setting then your health visitor will lead on submitting a request for assessment. If your child is being educated at home then the school nurse will lead on the request.

Who is involved? 
  • GPs: if the child is under the age of 2
  • Health visitors: pre-school children
  • School team: if the child is of school age
  • School nurse: if the child is of school age but is educated at home
What is the process for referral? 

At school the 'assess, plan, do and review' process will take place which includes the following steps:

  1. Identified need: What is the identified need of the child and why would a general developmental assessment help?

  2. Service leads on assess, plan, do and review process: Engaging with family/carers and other professionals involved

  3. Service to complete two cycles of support plans over at least one school term

  4. Service to contact health visitors or school nurse for the required health information: If child is not placed in a Service (under 5 years), Health Visitor may complete the referral

  5. Service to send all information together as a request

General Development Assessment

After the school completes the above process, the child will be referred to the community paediatrician who will complete the General Development Assessment. 

Inappropriate or incomplete referrals or those lacking evidence of pre-referral support and intervention, may be declined. 

After completing the GDA, the paediatrician will decide which steps the child should take next.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Pathway
  • If the community paediatrician doing General Developmental Assessment suspects ADHD, they will make a referral to Doncaster CAMHS
  • The referral will be triaged by the ADHD assessment team and outcome of the triage will be communicated to parents, GP, School and the referring paediatrician
  • If the child is accepted for ADHD assessment, he / she will go on waiting list and family will be offered appointment in due course of time
  • If the child is diagnosed with ADHD, she/he will be either be seen child psychiatrist or ADHD post-diagnosis service who will liaise with schools. They will have a regular review, generally every 6 months
  • If the child need to continue ADHD medication into their adulthood, they will be transitioned to Adult ADHD service at the age of 18
  • In addition to medication, the child with ADHD will need to access help and support through school and community based services
Autism Pathway
  • Should the community paediatrician doing GDA suspect Autism, he / she will refer to multidisciplinary autism assessment team.
  • The referral will be triaged by the autism assessment team and outcome of the triage will be communicated to parents, GP, School and the referring paediatrician.
  • If the child is accepted for Autism assessment, he / she will go on waiting list and family will be offered appointment in due course of time.
  • If the child is diagnosed with Autism, family and school will receive feedback and detailed report containing information on help and support. The child will be discharged. 
  • The target is to complete this pathway within 14 weeks. For more information on Autism assessments click here. 

Support and advice

There are services that can help children and provide resources whilst they are waiting for the GDA to start or in the middle of the pathway:


This service provides independent information, guidance and support for young people aged up to 25 and/or parents/carers of children with any level of additional needs or disabilities.

They can offer impartial advice, information and support to you so that you can take an active part in all the decisions that may affect you (as a young person) or your child’s education and disability needs.

Visit their website here. 

Tel: 01302 736920



Doncaster Parents Voice

Doncaster Parents Voice (DPVoice) is run by parents of children with a variety of additional needs. They exist to support families with disabled children whenever they need them. Parents often make contact when they are at their most vulnerable and have no one to turn to. DPVoice offer support, information, advocacy, advice and peer support for families with similar issues.

Visit their website here. 

Tel: 01302 637566


Early help HUB

Early Help is a way of thinking and working together as services with families that have additional or more complex needs.

Early Help can prevent problems from getting worse by providing support to families when a need is identified or as soon as a problem emerges. This can be at any point in a child’s life, from conception, through childhood and into adolescence. It can also prevent further problems arising by building resilience with families to find their own solutions in the future.

Visit their website here. 

Telephone: 01302 734110

School based service from CAMHS

Doncaster Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides mental health assessments, therapy and interventions for children, young people up to the age of 18 years and their families or identified carers when the child and young person is experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties.

Visit their website here. 

Telephone: 01302 796191

Asset Team

Information needed

Sleep Clinic

Information needed