Neurodevelopmental Team (NDT)

NDP - Introduction
The Islington CAMHS Neurodevelopmental Team (NDT) provides specialist assessments for Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with or without a Learning Disability (LD). This service is for children and young people between 5-18 years of age. There can be overlaps between the different conditions and a child or young person may be diagnosed with more than one. We will aim to carry out all assessments at once.

The team works together to provide a high quality, family centred service. We are a multi-disciplinary team including, psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, paediatrics and psychiatry. We aim to gather information to help with our assessment, this will include liaising with school and any other professionals involved with your child.

Referral information

We accept self-referrals and professional referrals; these are made by completing a Request for Service form. 
(click on the ‘Request for Service’ link to then download the ‘CSCT Request for Service form’)
Referrals are screened by the Islington Social, Emotional and Mental Health Intake team (which includes CAMHS). We must consider whether the information shared suggests the child or young person may have a neurodevelopmental difference. Parents can discuss worries about their child with the SEMH intake team, they may ask for more information or questionnaires to be completed as part of the screening process. The SEMH intake team will help identify what specialist help may be needed for your child.
We appreciate the children and families are waiting a long time before they are seen for an assessment so we will also try and provide recommendations of other services, websites or strategies that can support you whilst you are waiting.
Due to the high demand for services the waiting time for Neurodevelopmental assessments is approximately 2 years.

The assessment process

Please note, many of our meetings are carried out via video call (Microsoft TEAMS) or telephone. Please let us know if you prefer to meet in person.
Our assessment includes:
1. First meeting
The first meeting will be held with your child and family to gather information about your child’s strengths and areas of difficulty. We will talk about what you would like to achieve from this assessment.
2. Meeting with parents and caregivers
During this meeting we will ask about your child’s education and medical history, your family background and complete a detailed history of your child’s early development, toddlerhood and primary age. We will also ask about their current strengths and difficulties.
3. Schools and Professionals
We will liaise with your child’s school and other professionals involved in their care to collect information about your child’s behaviour and learning. This will be done with the permission of your family.
4. Assessments and Questionnaires
  • We will complete talking and observational assessments with your child.
  • If your child has been referred for an autism assessment, we will complete the ADOS a play-based observation assessment with the child (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule).
  • We may observe your child in their education setting (please be aware this does not occur with every child).
  • During the assessment some questionnaires may be used to understand more about your child. Some questionnaires are for parents, others for education staff and there may be questionnaires for the young person to complete.
  • Finally, we may complete additional assessments with your child if needed. Such as an assessment of cognitive functioning (learning levels), independence skills, motor and co-ordination skills, sensory difficulties, communication and language skills.
Because there are several different appointments and lots of information to look at, the assessment process will usually take from 3-6 months until the final report is written.

5. Multi-disciplinary Team Discussion
Once the assessment process is complete, all the information is carefully considered by the multi-disciplinary team. The team will develop an understanding of your child’s strengths and difficulties, which may or may not include a diagnosis.
6. How we feedback
You (and your child if they are old enough) will be invited to a feedback meeting with your case coordinator to discuss the outcome of your child’s assessment and the next steps. They will recommend appropriate services and resources according to your child’s needs.
We can meet with your child to talk about the assessment outcomes and sometimes it may be helpful to meet with their school team to discuss how your child’s strengths and difficulties impact on them at school, and how to best support their needs in the education environment.
A report of the full assessment will be provided so that families and professionals have a copy of the information on which decisions have been based. We can also provide a child-friendly report to support your child with understanding their diagnosis, strengths and needs.

Talking to your child about the assessment

Talking about the NDT assessment with your child can be difficult, but we recommend you do explain something about the assessment before the first meeting. Here are some suggestions:
  • Try to find out what your child might be worried about, for example, making or keeping friends, listening to other people, difficulties with distractions or noise, finding certain situations hard to cope with
  • Explain that the assessment will try to find reasons for this, and help them with their problems and worries
  • The assessment will also focus on your child’s strengths and what they are good at
  • It may be helpful to say we see lots of young people with similar difficulties
  • Some parents are keen to explain that we aim to find out if they have any conditions like autism or ADHD

We will send your child an easy read letter about their appointments according to their age or need.

After assessment support

The NDT offers:
  • A series of videos about autism, ADHD and learning disability. These cover information about your child’s condition, sharing the diagnosis with your child and services in the community
  • Educational courses and workshops for parents and carers on autism or ADHD

We will also:
  • Refer your child to other specialist services as required
  • Provide information about services such as family support workers, voluntary organisations or parent support groups
  • Give practical advice about where to go for help with benefits, education issues, etc.

What happens if your child does not receive a diagnosis?
Where a diagnosis is not given, we will refer your child to the most appropriate services to meet any needs identified in our assessment, if required. These teams will help you understand your child’s difficulties better and find solutions.
These services could be:
  • Another team at Islington CAMHS e.g. if your child has anxiety or depression
  • Services outside CAMHS e.g. Early Help, counselling, and mentoring services

Additional information and resources for parents and young people

You can access a variety of resources, support and information related to neurodiversity at the ‘Support Hub’ of the North Central London Waiting Room.

Meet the Neurodevelopment Team (NDT)

Jen Gallagher
Clinical Psychologist
Team Leader

Vicky Matthews

Clinical Psychologist
Team Leader

Colleen Williams

NDT Administrator

Anita Arora

Speech & Language Therapist

Gozde Arslan

Counselling Psychologist

Mireille Basset

Speech & Language Therapist

Lucy Brett-Taylor
Clinical Psychologist

Aime Follett

Family Worker

Katherine Garzonis

Clinical Psychologist

Nicole Horwitz

Hayley Keogh
Speech & Language Therapist

Lauren Longhurst
Speech & Language Therapist

Charlotte Merryweather

Assistant Psychologist

Kirsty Muldoon
Occupational Therapist

Matt Siddall

Occupational Therapist

Fiona Stromberg

Clinical Psychologist

Victoria Thompson

Speech & Language Therapist

Claire Usiskin

Family Therapist

Ren Wilson
Occupational Therapist

Contact us

Islington CAMHS
Neurodevelopmental Team (NDT)
3rd Floor, The Northern Health Centre
580 Holloway Road
N7 6LB
Islington CAMHS – Tel: 0203 316 1824 (enquires about open cases)
Islington SEMH – Tel: 020 7527 7400 (enquires about new referrals)
E-mail CAMHS Admin:

Last updated31 Aug 2023
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