With childcare and schools starting the new year, parents might be anxiously wondering how their child will adapt in a new learning environment. Some parents may be concerned about their child’s development or that they need specialised support.
One in five children have a developmental vulnerability when they start school. And one in ten will meet criteria for a neurodevelopmental condition, such as autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
New research has revealed that children wait 3.5 years on average for neurodevelopment assessments.
The largest study of needs of families requesting neurodevelopment assessments found that the average time for families waiting on a completed assessment for their children was 3.5 years in public services. This wait time started from when parents first noticed a concern to when they received a comprehensive assessment.
“I am a broken person, trying to put the pieces back together in the (perhaps vain) hope that maybe the repaired version will be more beautiful than the scars that pain left behind …”
"When I got the letter telling me about the wait time I just burst into tears," Tanya Wheat said.
"It is absolutely disgraceful, we can't wait two years, my son needs support now."
In April of 2021, Emilie Wigdor finished up a paper titled “The female protective effect against autism spectrum disorder” and put it on the pre-print server medRxiv. Wigdor is a Ph.D. student in human genetics at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, and the paper had taken three years to complete. It was also the first paper on which she was first author. She was proud of that, and she took to Twitter to promote the work in an 11-part thread.