Social Development Clinic
Harrington Building, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital
Overview of the clinic
The Social Development Clinic is a specialist referral service
for the assessment and treatment of children with complex
developmental disorders involving social impairment. This includes
autism spectrum disorder but also problems of autism-like syndromes
related to other specific genetic, neurodevelopmental and
It serves as one of the specialist referral services within the
National Autism Plan for Children but has a national profile in
addition in specialising in these wider impairments of social
development using the same rigorous techniques.
Our expert team includes consultant child and adolescent
psychiatrists, a consultant clinical psychologist, an occupational
therapist, a speech and language therapist and specialist mental
health practitioner with ASD experience.
This is an academically orientated clinic with a remit to
develop, implement and disseminate new evidenced-based methods of
assessment and intervention in severe and complex disorders of
social development in childhood. Members of the Clinic are involved
in primary research in both assessment and treatment in this
specialist area. Our clinical work in the SDC informs our research
work and in turn the results of research are implemented back into
Families are seen for concentrated one or two day assessments
plus feedback sessions; there are school based observations as
necessary. Treatment is offered in a number of cases in discussion
with local services. A consultation service to colleagues is
The clinic produces a detailed multidisciplinary assessment
report for families and professionals. This is discussed personally
with families at clinic follow up. Further follow up can be
provided with telephone consultation, school visits, clinic visits
or shared care models with local services.
Service user and professional feedback is obtained for every
referral. Results of satisfaction audits have been positive and
have informed further improvements to the service.
Who can refer
Referrals are accepted from GPs, community mental health teams
How to refer
Referrals are accepted in writing, by hard copy, fax or email.
Informal enquiries are welcome. Please see the referral check list
for more details.