Child Development Centre
Welcome to the Child Development Centre, Plymouth
We are looking forward to meeting you. In the meantime, please feel free to have a look at our pages including planning your visit to us, some things you need to know about visiting and who you might meet. We have also included lots of resources and signposting that you might be interested in exploring before you meet one of our team, these can be found on the relevant pages of our services. We know our waiting times are longer than we would like and we are working hard to address this. Whilst you are waiting, there are a number of different resources we would recommend you having a look at to support your child. These can be found in the relevant sections on our webpages, we also have some useful links and signposting on our page here.
October 2023: Important update regarding ADHD Medication please see here
Who will I meet when coming to the Child Development Centre (CDC)?
Your child or young person may have been referred to us at the CDC for a number of reasons. A few examples are patterns of development or behaviours that are unusual or are markedly different from their peers, queries regarding possible neurodivergence including autism (ASC) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), delayed toileting or a looked after child requiring a statutory medical.
Children and Young People have different needs and because of this we have lots of different specialist teams here at the CDC and we work hard to make sure you/your child get to see the right team for them. We also have visiting specialist teams who hold clinics with us too. You may see one or more of the different teams below:
Audiology (Children's Hearing Services)
Diagnostic audiological procedures and rehabilitative care for children and young people of all ages are provided. This includes age-appropriate testing techniques, advice regarding hearing loss, referral to other agencies and when necessary comprehensive digital hearing aid fitting. We work closely with our medical colleagues in the ear, nose and throat department, and the advisory teachers of the hearing impaired.
The team has both Clinical Psychologists and Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CWP’S). We offer low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with our CWP’s, find out more here , and a range of evidence-based psychological interventions for neurodivergent children and young people and their families. We also input into assessment pathways, providing signposting and run groups. We work both online and at the Child Development Centre to provide our care. Find out more about our team and loads of resources here .
We also have a team who work with children and young people who have difficulties with their physical health. Find out more about their work here .
Community Nursing Team (CCN)
The CCN team based at The Child Development Centre provide care for any child or young person with short or long term health needs such as diabetes, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, complex disability and home ventilation to name just a few requiring nursing support in the home.
The children and young people who we support cover the whole age range from 0 – 19 years. The team work closely with many outside agencies to ensure the provision of care is appropriate for each child or young person and their family for example undertaking assessments for continuing health care packages, respite provision and providing training and liaison with schools. Many of the children or young people will stay within the team for many years before transitioning into the adult services. Others will be supported through palliative care and ultimately end of life.
We have a team of doctors based at the CDC as well as a number of visiting consultants who hold specialist clinics, some of which are held jointly with the local team. There are general outpatient clinics for children and young people from 0-18 who's development may be delayed or significantly different from their peers, and there are also a number of specialist clinics in, genetics, neurology, neuromuscular and ophthalmology.
There is a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency service for children and young people with autism, ADHD and Downs Syndrome, but all our doctors engage with multi-disciplinary teams of professionals working with schools, therapists, social care, specialist services etc. for the children and young people we see. A number of the medical team also attend the special schools in the areas for designated clinics which allows minimal interruption to learning for these children and young people.
Children and Young People in care may attend the CDC for an initial health assessment or an adoption medical if requested by social care.
We are a small Nurse led team, consisting of both Nurses and Associate Practitioners, who work with children and young people aged from 0-18 years with specialist Bladder and Bowel care needs.
We work with the children and young people and their families and carers to fully assess their needs, and develop treatment and management plans to help address their needs.
The team also have close working relationships with other healthcare professionals, educational settings and respite facilities, to ensure children and young people's needs are met across all settings.
We offer our service via a combination of face to face and telephone appointments, as well as home and school visits where indicated. Occasionally virtual appointments are also offered.
All children develop at different speeds. Occupational therapists provide support and advice for children and young people with significant functional needs whose differences are impacting on their daily life.
Some children and young people find learning certain skills more difficult than others and they may need specialist assessment and advice from one of our therapists. Our work focuses on giving children and young people the skills they need to take part, in everyday situations and provide activities to enable them to become as independent as possible and to meet their goals.
We provide support to children and young people across the whole of Plymouth and parts of Devon and Cornwall. We aim to offer support in the most appropriate setting for your child. This may be at the Child Development Centre or a centre local to you. Depending on their needs, we may also visit your child or young person at their pre-school or school.
We provide physiotherapy services to children and young people (birth to 18 years) who are having difficulties meeting their motor milestones such as sitting, rolling, crawling and walking. Every child is unique and you as parents/carers are the experts in your child’s situation. We are here to share our knowledge and skills with you, so that you can continue to help your child.
We provide assessment pathways for children and young people who may have an autism spectrum condition, both pre-school (for Plymouth and South Devon) and school-age (Plymouth only).
As well as our assessment pathway, we have our specialist nursing teams who work with young people with autism, ADHD or a learning disability. In many cases they will take on coordination of a young person’s care. However, they may also work alongside colleagues within the service to provide additional support around sleep, behaviour or other challenges.
As part of the neurodevelopmental pathways we have a Speech and Language Therapy team providing an assessment service for children and young people. As part of this we may complete assessments relating to speech sounds, understanding of language, and using spoken language as well as more widely assessing social communication using standardised tools and observation. This may involve children and young people coming into Child Development Centre, and they may also be seen in their educational setting or at home.