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Developmental and Autism-related Intake at the RCH

  • Developmental Intake, part of our new Stepped Care Project, provides a single point of entry for all patient referrals or queries relating to child development, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

    What does Developmental Intake offer?

    • A single referral triage pathway for professionals or caregivers concerned about a child’s development
    • Streamlined allocation of children to the most appropriate service to meet their needs (this may not be at The Royal Children's Hospital, but a service closer to a family's home)
    • Advice to health professionals regarding assessment options available, within and external to the RCH, and linking in with other services where appropriate.
    • Advice and support for families regarding assessment and intervention options, and a clearer understanding of the assessment process.

    Estimated wait times for autism assessment and relevant clinical support services

    Wait times exist and do vary for different services. At times, waits for specific clinics can be in excess of 1 year. Advice is available via the Developmental Intake team regarding alternative options for care that is required, and helpful actions that can occur during lengthy waiting periods. 

    Where to Next?

    If you are concerned about a specific child, please see the pages in this section that are relevant to the child’s age. These are divided into 0-6 years, and 6 years and above. This is because as children grow and develop, their assessment and support needs change. This is often reflected in school-age services that are different in make-up from those that support younger children with autism-related concerns. 

    In particular, requirements to access services through the National Disability Insurance Scheme change when a child turns 7 years of age. Please see for more details.

    For more general information about autism and child development, please see the links page further on in this section.