An ASD/ADHD workshop event was facilitated by Belfast Locality Planning Groups on November 6th 2019, at the Balmoral Hotel. Upwards of 130 people from a cross-section of organisations and disciplines attended the event. The high level of attendance reflects the fact that this is an accelerating issue in all LPG areas in Belfast, as identified by the FSHs and Locality Planning structures.
The theme of this workshop was to outline the diagnostic journey for service users and their families through both the Education sector and the Belfast HSCT system. The opportunity to have an input from both Health and Education was very positive in providing a comprehensive overview of the systems families have to navigate.
From an education perspective Lorna Fitzpatrick (EA lead in ASD) delivered a presentation that mapped the route through education for children and families, once the child has been identified as being “different“.
Kris McKeever( ASD Lead, Belfast HSCT) and Paul Gemmell ( ADHD Lead, Belfast HSCT) both delivered presentations in respect of ASD and ADHD and the journey through the health system in Belfast for children and families. The final presentation delivered by Caroline Milligan outlined a model of good practice that is part of Glenbrook Surestarts programme which is based in North Belfast. This national award winning programme, “Little Learners Pilot Programme” was launched due to an increasing number of children presenting with Autism and social communication concerns. This programme illustrated the partnership working not only between organisations and professionals but also between families and the service providers.
Presentations are available to view on Belfast Locality Planning Groups’ webpages.
This was an event that was designed to raise awareness and to encourage more discussion and partnership working between organisations, disciplines, service providers and service users in order to charter a way forward. Feedback collated to date from event evaluation forms is very positive and indicates that there is a willingness and enthusiasm across all sectors to continue to build on the conversations started at this event to plan and develop a range of supports for these children and their families.