Autistic students are waiting more than 12 MONTHS to get a formal diagnosis

PUBLISHED: 12:23 13 December 2016

Youngsters with autism are facing delays in getting the care they need because they are not being diagnosed quickly

Youngsters with autism are facing delays in getting the care they need because they are not being diagnosed quickly


Ofsted has branded the timeframe ‘unacceptable’

Autistic children in Bexley are waiting more than a year before they are formally diagnosed, a report has found.

Ofsted, together with the Care and Quality Commission, carried out inspections in October.

Inspectors found pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities in early years and primary schools were achieving good results.

But the report went on to warn that some youngsters struggle once they enter secondary school.

It read: “Many parents report how their children struggle when they transfer to secondary schools because their needs are not understood or supported effectively.

“Some parents feel they are made to feel unwelcome at secondary school open evenings.”

Worryingly, the report warned of “unacceptable waiting times of over 12 months for some pupils to acquire a formal diagnosis for their autism spectrum disorder.

“This delays how quickly some are able to access support in a special school.”

The report went on to applaud the systems in place to keep children and young people safe.

The council’s cabinet member for schools, Rob Leitch, said: “We’re pleased inspectors have recognised the good work taking place in Bexley to improve the life chances of young people with special educational needs.

“We will pay special attention to those areas where they feel we need to improve, to make sure our children, young people and their parents or carers receive the service they deserve.

“Together with our health partners we are already working to create an action plan that will help us to consolidate and continue our improvement. The council also conceded: “We need to work harder at ensuring our Local Offer - the local internet site for parents and carer information - is known and well used.”

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