***(UK) Kids with autism, dyslexia, ADHD put on waiting lists for years; no services provided

Mar 4, 2019, Kent Online: Children waiting up to two years for ADHD, autism and dyslexia diagnosis Children in Kent showing signs of ADHD, autism, dyslexia or learning and communication disorders are spending two years without a formal diagnosis. Parents or carers could be missing out on disability living allowance or educational support for their child because of the wait. But head of mental health commissioning in Kent and Medway, Dave Holman told councillors the time it takes to get a diagnosis for a neurodevelopmental disorder has halved since 2016. At Kent County Council's health overview and scrutiny committee, he said: "It was four years but now the average wait is two years, which is clearly far too long. "This isn't just about diagnostics, this is also how you support children once they have had their diagnosis as well." However, 69% of children wait more than 18 weeks to get their first full assessment with the neurodevelopmental and learning disability service. Mr Holman, who works for west Kent clinical commissioning group, explained demand for these services is high but he is confident about the progress of the provider, North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT). … Cllr Karen Constantine: "When you are waiting for access to a service, one of the things that suffers is school and education." Cllr Karen Constantine (Lab) shared concerns children on the waiting list are missing out on their education, social development and it is damaging their relationships with their parents or carers. She said: "The report was quite shocking because clearly it does indicate there is a lot of gaps and young people that fall through them, that's obviously very worrying. … West Kent CCG's clinical lead for mental health, Dr David Chesover, explained while "insufficient" money is a factor to the team not meeting this pressure, more children are being seen within the required time. He added: "The frustrations felt by councillors are felt everyday by GPs and clinicians in the system and the management trying to support them. "People are working extraordinarily hard the whole time to revise the system on limited resources." Dr Chesover also shared his concern things are a lot harder for children now than in his 40-year career practicing medicine. He said: "Children are now absorbing more of society's stress. "There is a much more complex, fundamental insecurity and less relience in children than there has been in the 40 years I have practiced medicine. "This is a really complex issue."