Autistic spectrum conditions and learning disabilities (formerly Lifespan)

We provide specialist assessment and treatment for children and young people with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) and developmental learning disabilities, who experience psychological difficulties linked to their condition. 

We aim to help people with:

  • learning disabilities (including borderline or unclearly defined)
  • autism spectrum conditions and related neurodevelopmental difficulties


Diagnostic assessment 

We offer a specialist multidisciplinary diagnostic assessment service to explore the presence of autistic spectrum conditions and other neurodevelopmental disorders in children and young people up to 18 years of age from certain boroughs with whom we have commissioning arrangements. 

Assessment for therapeutic intervention

We accept referrals for treatment where the child or young person already has a diagnosis of ASC or a learning disability. We first carry out an assessment to explore the reasons for referral further and how we might be able to help the child or young person and their family. We agree on a care plan with the patient and if appropriate the family too. If fitting, we let the referrer and GP know what we have offered. As part of the assessment, we may also meet with the professional network and discuss how best the network might work together to support the child or young person.


Our treatment packages are tailored to the needs of the child, young person or family and the people around them. 

Where needed, we offer a variety of therapeutic arrangements adapted for our patient group including:

The care plan will be jointly agreed as part of the assessment.

We also offer consultation, teaching and training for people around the referred patient.


We are a multidisciplinary team. This means we have experts from different specialties who work together to assess and treat our patients. Our team includes psychiatrists, psychologists, family therapists, child & adolescent psychotherapists, social workers and trainees.

We also work closely with local health, education and social care services. 

Children, young people with autistic spectrum conditions and developmental learning disabilities, who experience psychological difficulties linked to their condition.

Please phone us on 020 8938 2241 if you would like to refer someone to our service.

Electronic Referral Service

Please be aware that GPs who can refer directly to Tavistock & Portman services are now able to refer to a Referral Assessment Service (RAS) via the Electronic Referral Service.

To locate the Autism and Learning Disabilities service on eRS, enter the following in the search fields:

Service name: Autism and Learning Disabilities – Tavistock & Portman NHSFT

Priority: Routine

Speciality: Mental Health – Child and Adolescent

Clinic Type: Not Otherwise Specified

Organisation of Site Name field: Tavistock and Portman

Download the ASC referral form

General enquiries:

020 8938 2240 or 020 8938 2668 

Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA

Referrals only:

020 8938 2241