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Community paediatric service information

Information about the services we provide

The Child Development Team (CDT) is a multidisciplinary team for children under five who have more significant developmental/health needs.

Many of these children have complex health issues and may be under other Doctor (e.g. acute Paediatricians, Paediatric Neurologists etc). The Community Paediatrician’s role is to assess and review health and developmental needs while Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists will perform functional assessments and identify priorities for intervention. These may include home/nursery programmes of treatment activities and strategies, consultation and training for parents and nursery staff and providing equipment when necessary at home and at nursery. The team will work closely with Education and Social Care.


We see children and young people with:

  • Downs Syndrome and other genetic disorders which cause disability
  • Physical disability including motor disorders such as cerebral palsy
  • Children with Learning disabilities attending Specialist Schools who have associated complex medical problems such as epilepsy.


  • We provide diagnostic assessments for children between the ages of 1 to 5 years of age with social communication difficulties suggestive of a possible autism spectrum disorder.
  • We also work jointly with CAMHS colleagues within the Neuro-collaborative pathway (delivered through CAMHS Oxford Health), to provide ASD and ADHD assessments for school aged children.
  • We offer medication reviews for children under the age of 11 with already confirmed ADHD and stabilised on medication (Children over 11 years of age & on medication for ADHD should be referred to CAMHS).
  • We offer assessment and review of children with sleep disorders associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder.
  • For children with coordination concerns in line with a possible developmental coordination disorder/dyspraxia, we will provide assessment following a functional assessment from an Occupational Therapist. Our role is focussed on excluding any neurological basis for the child’s difficulties. We will also support an MDT approach to diagnostic clarity with our OT colleagues.

This includes diagnoses such as:

  • Autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Statutory medicals for children living in special circumstances e.g. children looked after by the local authority and medical input to the adoption process.
  • Community Paediatricians assess children who have recently come into the care of the local authority, to ensure that their health needs are met. Parents or people with parental responsibility will be asked to provide consent for information about the child to be shared between the Community Paediatric service and the local authority.
  • Medical advice on the impact of health problems in educational settings.
  • If a child has health or developmental needs that are impacting on their education, the Community Paediatric team may be asked to share information about the child with the school and the education authority. Parents will be asked to provide consent for this. Children may also be assessed by the team if the education authority has decided to initiate an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This is usually a one-off appointment to complete a profile of the child’s health and developmental needs and how this may impact on their education.

If your child has received a diagnosis

If your child receives a diagnosis of a developmental condition, it is normal to experience a range of emotions. This can include strong negative emotions such as anger, sadness, worry, and difficulty accepting the diagnosis. Coming to terms with what a diagnosis will mean for your child, your family, and your future is often compared to a grieving process.

For some people, receiving a diagnosis may bring a sense of relief, as it can help them better understand their children’s behaviours, and access appropriate support.

It is important to recognise all those emotions, and that different people in the family may respond in very different ways.


Community Paediatricians do not offer cognitive assessments, educational support or advice on school age children, nor diagnose specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.

The Community Paediatrics team do not conduct assessments for dyslexia. Diagnostic assessments for dyslexia are usually carried out by Specialist Teachers and Psychologists.

The school team and parents should investigate available options for assessing dyslexia including accessing Educational Psychology.

A useful source of information for families and school is the British Dyslexia Foundation website