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Complex Communication and Autism (ICAN)

As part of the Child Development Team, the Integrated Children’s Additional Needs Service (ICAN) provides a complex communication and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment and support for you and your family following diagnosis, for pre school children. We consist of Clinical Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and Specialist Health Visitors.

Who is it for?

Pre-school children who have additional needs and have been referred by a Paediatrician.

Autism is a spectrum condition which can impact on children in very different ways. Our service aims to meet the standards for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), allowing each child and their family to be supported with individual needs.

Autism is a developmental disability that can affect how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people around them. People with autism may have difficulties with social interaction, social communication and with social imagination.

If you have concerns about your child’s development you could speak to the following people and ask their advice about whether to seek referral for an autism assessment:

What do we offer?

Upon referral, pre-school children will be offered a clinic appointment with a Paediatrician. Some children may have already been seen by a Speech and Language Therapist but if they haven't they will also be referred for a speech and language assessment. Children will also be referred to the Children’s Audiology Team for a hearing test.

Following the Paediatrician appointment, if they feel it is appropriate they will speak to you and refer your child to us for assessment. 

You will be allocated a lead professional which is usually a Speech and Language Therapist or Clinical Psychologist. They will gather all elements of your child’s assessment together and provide you with a report of the outcome. 

During the assessment we may gather information from other professionals who are involved in the child’s care and wellbeing which may include:

  • Nursery/School staff
  • 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service
  • Other healthcare professionals including speech and language therapist

This assessment also includes;

  • A consultation with a specialist 0-19 Public Health Nurse who will help you understand more about Autism in children, provide information on the support available and help you work on specific areas
  • A specialist speech and language/clinical psychology assessment 

Following the different clinical consultations described above, your lead professional will bring your child’s case to a team meeting where a diagnosis will be agreed or we will decide that further assessment is needed. Your lead professional will then provide you with feedback and a report.

We work in partnership with you and your Public Health Integrated Nurse and we will invite them to join us at the assessment and follow up appointment so they can continue to support you.

Parent resources

Please find a tool kit of video links below designed for families of children with complex communication needs or autism.

Each video lasts between 20 minutes and 40 minutes and is best viewed on a laptop or smartphone.

Contact information

Office hours 8.30am to 5.00pm

Our service operates out of the following health centres:

St Georges Centre

St George's Road
LS10 4UZ

Tel: 0113 843 2000

Reginald Centre
263 Chapeltown Rd

Tel: 0113 843 5700

Wortley Beck Health Centre
Ring Road
LS12 5SG

Tel: 0113 843 8000

We are currently reviewing our website to make all content accessible. If you are looking for a download, such as a leaflet or booklet that you can no longer find, please contact the service on the details above.

Parent Information

Leeds Local Offer


See video toolkit on the left for video resources

What to do if you need to speak to someone urgently...