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Autism assessment help for family of Charlotte Tait, from Malton
A COUPLE who made a desperate appeal for help after their eight-year-old daughter’s violent behaviour spiralled out of control have finally been given vital assistance.
Charlotte Tait, who was excluded from three primary schools in North Yorkshire for violence towards staff and pupils, has started at a special school in Cumbria and is already making progress.
In addition, North Yorkshire health chiefs have paid for her to undergo a specialist assessment for autism at a hospital in London as they seek to tackle a long waiting list for assessments.
The Press reported in May how Arthur and Maxine Tait, from Scagglethorpe, near Malton, were “at the end of their tethers” because of their daughter’s behaviour, which they suspected was caused by a form of autism. Mr Tait said then: “We are a family that is going through hell.”
The couple said yesterday that Charlotte had now started at the special school in Cumbria where staff were specially trained in dealing with such behaviour, and Charlotte’s had improved. However, they said they faced a tiring three-hour journey each way, taking her there and back each weekend.
They said they also took Charlotte on another long journey down to the Maudsley Hospital in London earlier this week for an assessment for autism by several specialists, which took several hours. They hoped such a diagnosis would be made, enabling them to receive specialist help.
Janet Probert, director of partnership commissioning for all North Yorkshire and York Clinical Commissioning Groups, said they were aware of the issue around waiting times for autism assessments and were working hard to provide extra capacity.
“We understand how important this is for the families concerned,” she said.
She said demand for assessments had exceeded expectations and there was insufficent capacity in the system. Additional capacity had been commissioned from a number of providers, including the Maudsley and diagnostic centres in Newcastle and Sheffield, offering families the choice of traveling to other services or remaining on local waiting lists.
North Yorkshire County Council said that in the majority of cases of children with special needs and disabilties, additional educational support could be provided within North Yorkshire but, in a small minority of cases, it might be necessary for it to consider out-of-authority provision.