About us – Children’s Specialist Nursing Team for Children with Additional Health Needs in Warrington

The Children’s Specialist Nursing Team For children With Additional Health Needs works in close collaboration with families and carers to encourage development, manage behaviour issues and promote good emotional health for children and young people, with learning disabilities and additional health needs, aged 0-19 years.

We work very closely with parents to help them develop a consistent approach to managing their child.

Our aim is to provide a high quality, holistic, needs led service focusing on the behavioural and developmental needs of children and young people with learning disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The team works closely with parents and professionals supporting the child to develop a consistent approach.

In order to build the skills and capacity of parents and community health staff to work more effectively with the children, young people and families who use the service, the service will offer training and development opportunities to these groups.

What does the Specialist Nursing Team Provide?

Expertise available to families.

Children, Young People and their families can access expert knowledge in the following aspects:

  • Information on Learning Disability, Autism, ADHD and Emotional health and wellbeing.
  • Functional assessment of behaviour issues
  • In depth assessment of sleep difficulties
  • Advice on behavioural issues based on behaviour modification techniques (B.F. Skinner, Pavlov, Bandura)
  • Promotion of Emotional health and wellbeing
  • Advice on eating and drinking difficulties, of a behavioural nature.
  • Advice on toileting issues
  • Advice on early play and development based on the Portage model.
  • Advice on Relaxation techniques using multi-sensory facilities
  • Support for implementing strategies in the home such as structured timetables, symbols, social stories
  • Individual parenting advice and support based on Webster Stratton parenting programme
  • Management of Autism
  • Management of ADHD

Team members also monitor children and young people with a diagnosis of a Neurodevelopmental condition who are on medication as per NICE guidance, conduct QB tests, deliver training to parent groups and staff groups and complete ADOS assessments.

We may take on the role of Lead Professional in Family Support Meetings and complete Early Help Assessments. We also contribute to continuing care decision assessments.

Where is the service located and what areas does it cover?

The Specialist Nursing Team for Children with Additional Health Needs is based at:

Warrington Child Development Centre
Sandy Lane

We work across the whole of the Warrington area.

The service is offered in Warrington from a range of suitable locations, within the community and the child/young persons’ home.

Appointments are offered at the most appropriate venue available.

The service also arranges to see children/young people in nursery/school settings as part of the assessment, intervention and evaluation of support.

What is a Learning Disability?

Learning disability is also referred to as special needs, intellectual disability and developmental disability. The term ‘Learning Disability’ is defined by the Department of health as follows:

Learning disability includes the presence of:

  • A significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence), with;
  • A reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning); which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development.

(GB.DH 2001)

What is a challenging behaviour?

The most commonly used definition of challenging behaviour is:

“Behaviour of such an intensity, frequency and duration that the physical safety of the person or others is likely to be placed in serious jeopardy, or behaviour that is likely to seriously limit the use of, or result in the person being denied access to ordinary community facilities.” (Emerson 1995)

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong disability which affects the way an individual relates to people, situations and their immediate environment. The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is often used because the impact of autism varies from person to person.”
(Department of Health)

“It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.

“Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.”
(The National Autistic Society)

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.”
(The National Autistic Society)

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

ADHD is a neurological condition in children and young people. It usually starts in early childhood and some people will continue to have ADHD as adults. Severe ADHD is sometimes known as ‘hyperkinetic disorder’.

The symptoms of ADHD include being:

  • inattentive – unable to concentrate for very long or finish a task, disorganised, often losing things, easily distracted and forgetful, unable to listen when people are talking
  • hyperactive – fidgety and unable to sit still, restless (children may be running or climbing much of the time), talking constantly, noisy, having difficulty doing quiet activities
  • impulsive – speaking without thinking about the consequences, interrupting other people, unable to wait or take their turn.

Not all people with ADHD have all these symptoms, and everyone can be inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive some of the time, particularly children.

But a person with ADHD has symptoms most of the time that can seriously affect their everyday life. They may also be clumsy, unable to sleep, have temper tantrums and mood swings and find it hard to socialise and make friends.”