Private practice opens children’s autism clinic

A fast-growing private practice, launched a decade ago by 16 specialists, has opened an autism clinic in response to public demand for an early and accurate diagnosis for children.

The clinic is part of cognitive health provider Re:Cognition Health’s Children & Young Peoples Service and more services are planned to open over the coming months. 

Dr Emer MacSweeney, chief executive and medical director, said the autism clinic was designed to diagnose and provide bespoke treatment plans and referral pathways to ensure children with autism receive the very best support and achieve the best outcomes. 

‘We have ambitious growth plans for our clinical services at Re:Cognition Health and are looking forward to further exciting launches to help improve mental and cognitive health.’

Dr Emer MacSweeney

The company is based in Wimpole Street, London, and has clinics across the UK.

Paediatrician Dr Christina Georgoula and psychologists Ifi Mourelatoun and Barbara Blanco have joined the multidisciplinary team offering autism assessments for children as young as 18 months old, to complement Re:Cognition Health’s established ADHD clinics.

Medical breakthrough

The clinic includes the innovative Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) therapy, an early intervention play-based programme to treat infants and toddlers with autism. 

Hailed in 2012 as one of the top ten medical breakthroughs, ESDM is designed to enhance language, non-verbal communication, imitation, joint attention, play, motor and self-care skills. 

The Autism Assessment at Re:Cognition Health is a collaborative approach provided by a team of experts comprising a paediatrician, child psychiatrist, speech and language therapist and psychologist. These experts utilise a series of gold standard diagnostic tools tailored to the child’s specific constellation of symptoms. 

An assessment comprises an initial assessment with the child’s parent or carer and involves an Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R) followed by the Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule (ADOS) play-based assessment with the child.

This reviews the child’s communication and social behaviour through age-appropriate games, activities and conversation. 

Dustin Reibe

Following these assessments, a detailed report is issued with diagnosis, guidance and recommendations.

Clinical services director Dustin Reibe said: ‘We are excited to launch our new autism clinic for children and toddlers at Re:Cognition Health, providing a much-needed service to deliver an early and accurate diagnosis to help improve the management of symptoms in collaboration with the child, families, education and support network. 

‘The autism clinic complements our existing services including neurological care, ADHD, medico-legal, repetitive head injury, long Covid and medicinal cannabis, which are all designed to help enhance capabilities and optimise the performance of the brain and mind.’