CAMHS v Specialist Service

I wonder if anyone can advise. My son who is 12 has been with CAMHS for a number of years with little impact. I, in conjunction with his school, asked that he be referred to a specialist service. He has acute anxiety and I feel CAMHS have one bag of tools which they are unable to adapt for ASD. We have tried with them for a number of years but with little impact. I believe he needs a specialist service that can look at him as a whole with an expert knowledge of ASD. Our consultant refuses to refer him. The GP has tried to advocate on our behalf to little effect. Does anyone have any ideas. I am very concerned as we are entering adolescence. Many thanks. 

  • Hi Funnygirl,

    Thanks for your message, I think our Autism Helpline is the most appropriate team to contact If you feel your consultant is not referring you to the appropriate service.  Advisers can talk through the different issues and types of support and search for services in your area, if you would like to call.

    The Helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am – 4pm and Friday 9am – 3pm on 0808 800 4104.

    Please see the following link for further information:

    Also, if you are looking to find a particular specialist service in your area, you might want to have a look at the Autism Services Directory: This includes services such as: support groups, social groups, advocacy, befriending, residential settings, outreach and respite.

    If you are looking to be referred to a specialist education service that you feel would be appropriate for your son, you may want to contact our Education Rights Service where information, support and advice is provided on educational provision and entitlements. Please see the following link for further information:

    I hope you find something here that helps, but please post back if not and a moderator or community member will try to help.

    Kind regards,

    Heather - Mod

  • Hi how did you get on in the end?  Did you indeed any help.  I am in a similar situation  and not finding the Cognitive therapy offered by CAMHS relevant for ASD.  

  • Wow this is exactly what's been happening to my son for the last 4 years, he's 14, I've got another appointment with CAMHS on Monday and am dreading it as it is a waste of time, and I don't really know why I'm going, but I'll take something from this and will phone the helpline Monday morning for advice.


  • Community mental health services turned me away for years - refusing to even consider that I might have ASC.  I was told it would have been picked up in my childhood.  Maybe it should have been - but back in the '60s and '70s, Asperger's was unheard of... and I was just a dope with behaviour issues.

    I even had one psychiatrist tell me that I couldn't be autistic because I didn't flap my hands.  As you say, they have one bag of tools - but even that bag has tools missing.  One CPN once said to me that she could tell from looking at me that I didn't have BPD!  Really?  Amazing!