Is there a "developmental pediatrician" specialty in the UK? In the US, this is the ped specialty to whom you'd take your suspected SN child for evaluation.

(37 Posts)
Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 08:40:50

Usually, if you take your child to a regular pediatrician, they tell you "not to worry", the child will "grow out of it", he is "a little slow but will catch up". I am actually in Italy and when I took my ASD ds to a reg ped here for obvious speech delay, I was told that "he was not mute, right?" and denied services. Took me 4 more years to squeeze a dx out of them. In the US, this would be unthinkable. Am trying to figure out how things are in the UK, where we may move for work. So- where do I take my 2.5yo for a comprehensive evaluation bc I know he is speech delayed (btdt). We have insurance so am willing to pay, just tell me where to go, if anywhere. THANK YOU, ladies!

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AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 08-Jun-08 08:51:03


Your first point of contact would be the GP who should listen to your concerns properly and then refer you to a Child Development Centre to see a developmental paediatrician (note that title). You can wait months to see such a person once referred because the demand is high for such services.

BUPA (if you are in their scheme) may well give you a name of a developmental paediatrician who works out of one of their hospitals but I think insurance won't pay out the cost of an appointment.

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 09:16:16

Hi, Attila- we actually have US-based insurance that would pay, provided we find a specialist who would take our money. US insurances usually pay for diagnostics.. then they are not so good paying for services. :-( But how do I find a dev. ped. who could take us without a waitlist, if we pay? (I hope I don't sound obnoxious about my desire to bypass the waitlists, but we do pay for this insurance...)

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Tclanger Sun 08-Jun-08 09:28:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 09:58:55

I'll Google it. Just to explain: we are in Italy where there are almost no services, really the middle ages. We are trying to change countries so that ds can get services, and this is taking a long time, so i'd hate to be on a waitlist for another 6 months; this would be a real disservice to the little guy. He is 2.4 and does not have a single 2-word phrase, does not pronounce half the letters... very communicative, but there must be a speech/auditory processing disorder of some sort. Any other ideas of private services really appreciated! We'll start the process w/GP of course, too.

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getbackinyouryurtjimjams Sun 08-Jun-08 10:13:25

It's bloody difficult to find a private developmental paed. Or at least it was 7 years ago when we tried.

If you're coming from abroad there is a chance you could access Elliot house in Bromley - run by the NAS. Type NAS Elliot House into google and you should get it. You can't access it if you're living in the UK though (which irritated as we used to live streets away and I would walk past it and be unable to access its services) so perhaps contact them before you move here.

Tclanger Sun 08-Jun-08 10:37:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tclanger Sun 08-Jun-08 10:38:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 10:41:13

Argh, it's so far from London. And they don't do assessments of UK residents? They service foreigners but not their own citizens? And Great Ormond Street has an International Patient service, and I'll call them on Monday, but it all sounds a bit off base. Ie, we would come to the UK to live, not just for treatment of a clinical problem. Folks, why does it have to be so complicated? Sigh. For a child w/speech delay, to wait 6months for an assessment and then 6more months for services is criminal, really. You can get your car repaired in 2 days, but you can't get your child serviced???

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getbackinyouryurtjimjams Sun 08-Jun-08 10:46:26

Elliot House is in London!

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 10:47:15

Tclanger, thanks for the ICAN site. They start assessments at age 4, which frankly is very late, because main language development occurs years earlier. They really need to lower the assessment age to 2. Can I ask you how old your ds was and whether you took him in for a private eval bc NHS was not helping? Are you able to get services that ICAN recommened through the NHS or are you doing it privately?

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Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 10:49:25

Ok, I am clueless, I guess- NAS says that Elliot House is in Bromley, Kent. Is there another Elliot House? Look here: The NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism
Elliot House
113 Masons Hill
Kent BR2 9HT

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Flamesparrow Sun 08-Jun-08 10:55:33

Completely agree about the wait for being seen when your car can be looked at so fast

I have been asking about DD's speech since she started preschool - they brushed me off telling me she would catch up, and I assumed I was worrying pfb type woman. She then started school and in November at parent's evening they asked if we would like her assessed for speech therapy. We are still waiting.

She failed her hearing test in April.

Still waiting for audiology. There is no clinic in June hmm.

By the time she is seen, she will have been at school for a full year. It could be something as simple as needing grommets. If I hadn't been brushed off when she was 3, she wouldn't have struggled through her first year at school angry

Not that any of that helps you blush Needed a rant!

retiredgoth Sun 08-Jun-08 10:57:18

.....these assessments are carried out, for the most part, by a sub-specialist known as a Community Paediatrician. Access is either via the GP or from contact with acute services.

...the reason that private specialists in this area are difficult to find is simple. There ain't any. Or at least, so few as to be negligible (and frankly I would have doubts about anyone claiming to be one such). In fact, there are precious few private paediatricians of any kind in the UK (unlike, say, Orthopaedics or other surgical specialties).

...the best service in the UK is the free at the point of use variety. It is is a good service, if not flawless, as the likelihood is that any given area will have just the one, so you are subject to the strengths and weaknesses of that individual.

Tclanger Sun 08-Jun-08 11:00:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 11:01:05

Flamesparrow, this is exactly my situation in Italy. My 2.4yo has been waiting for 6 months to have his hearing properly checked. He failed 2 tests prior and the next one was scheduled for 2 months later. At this age, 2 months is an eternity. His speech is not progressing at all. Here, there are no specialist at ANY price - public, private, there are just no specialists. I am hoping I can at least find private services in the UK... but I can see it's not easy. Dunno. Maybe I should rethink my move.

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Flamesparrow Sun 08-Jun-08 11:03:49

Why are you moving? <nosey>

Can you move anywhere?

getbackinyouryurtjimjams Sun 08-Jun-08 11:21:51

Bromley is in Kent, but it's also a London borough. I used to live there and work in Notting Hill whilst dh worked in the City. It's a 20 minute train ride from Victoria.

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 12:39:18

Sorry, had to step away to feed dcs. We have a 10yo HFA ds and a 2.4yo who has a clear speech delay, both of whom get zero services in Italy. I tried hard to get it here, through state, paid, anything, but there is just nothing, no specialists, no training. The state neuropsych told me to speak Italian to my 2yo to address his speech delay, just absurd. We can move either to London or to the US, but moving to the US would be a greater upheaval in a number of respects, unrelated to dcs. For SN dcs, the US is really a century ahead of every other country, but as usual, one has to balance many other considerations as well (work, etc.) So I am a little stuck... my job is in Europe, and I could do it from the UK, but hearing you guys talk, SN services are sloooow in the UK, and I have already waited and waited here, before I decided to throw the towel in and move.

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getbackinyouryurtjimjams Sun 08-Jun-08 13:27:10

If you're after services - so therapy etc it's fairly easy to buy that in in the UK (not cheap though). Hopeless trying to access stuff without buying it in.

It's just the diagnosis that's hard to go private for.

desperatehousewifetoo Sun 08-Jun-08 15:39:48

I'm confused. Is it just your ds' speech and language development you are concerned about? If that is the case, why are you not looking for a speech and language therepy assessment? Forgive me if I've not read the thread properly and there are other concerns too which is the reason for paediatrian request rather than salt.

Tclanger has given you all the relevant contact details for salt assessment.

I think it also depends on where you live as to how comprehensive community paediatric services are, as well as what school he eventually attends.

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 16:21:16

Hi Desperate. What I would like would be a comprehensive, from zero, developmental assessment, asap. I do know already that my 2.4 yo is speech delayed and he would for sure need speech therapy. I am afraid he may need other things, too (based on our experience w/our 10yo HFA who also started with 'only' speech delay), thus a dev ped assessment. I am just so worried about him and I have let so much time go by since it became clear he was delayed (not to my own volition but because there are no services where we live) that I really can't wait for the regular Child Dev Center route, which takes months. And THANK YOU ALL for your help- this is a great, great board and you are all great.

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Tclanger Sun 08-Jun-08 16:26:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 17:02:42

Hi Tclanger, this is the link that I found, too, and will call them tomorrow am. I am not getting my hopes up, but 1) maybe they'll tell me something of use in any case, 2) I have to say that I feel less panicky about the process because I have found you all. You know who directed me here? I frequent another SN board,, out of NYC where I am from, and I posted whether anyone knew about SN in UK- bingo! We have to stick together, moms of special kids, there is no other way. Thanks again.

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Mamax4 Sun 08-Jun-08 17:25:21

Ladies, I am reading the ICAN site TClaner gave me, and they have a really cool thing- an integrated pre-school for speech delayed kids, but in a limited number of places. As I read, I found this sentence: "All children are on SEN Early Years Action Plus". I presume this means that these kids are statemented, but can someone say if the fact that such a program exists for younger dcs means that they get to be on a "speed track" for assessment/treatment? In the US, dcs under 3 fall under the jurisdiction of "Early Intervention" and things go really fast there and a dc d/n have to be legally "statemented" to get services if he is under 3.

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