MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

How to refer a child

Information for referrers

Children must be referred to the CALM research clinic by a professional working with the child. Such professionals can include SENCos, Speech and Language therapists, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service practitioners and educational and clinical psychologists.

How do I identify suitable children?

Please note we are unable to accept children with English as an additional language (EAL).


The Centre for Attention Learning and Memory’s (CALM) research clinic is entering a new and exciting phase, which has led to some changes in the children we are planning to work with, outlined below.

From February 2016, we are prioritising referrals for children aged 6-12 years who either:

  • have a diagnosis of ADHD or are awaiting an assessment prior to a likely diagnosis, or
  • have significant difficulties with language that continue to the present, and that are being supported by speech & language therapy services either in the past or the present, or
  • have a diagnosis of OCD or display significant OCD-like symptoms such as intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviours that have, or are, receiving attention from clinical services.

The purpose of this new recruitment phase is to allow us to look in detail at the extent to which the cognitive abilities, learning, behaviour and brain functioning of children diagnosed with attention, OCD and language problems is different from those of the many children who have more general difficulties with academic learning.

During this phase we are no longer able to accept referrals for children who are struggling academically who do not meet these criteria, due to the high volume of interest in this clinic which would generate an unacceptably long waiting list. Expression of interest forms should only be sent for children meting the above criteria.

I know of a child who may be suitable. What do I do now?

Please pass on to the family the Information Pack (select the pack according to the age of the child). If they wish to take part, they should complete the expression of interest form and return it to us. We contact you when we receive their form and ask you to describe briefly to us any problems that you think the child may have.

Information packs to pass on to families (including expression of interest form

Pack if child is aged 6-8 years

Pack if child is aged 9-11 years

Pack if child is aged 12 years

What assessments do you run with the children?

A full list of the assessments conducted at the clinic can be found here.

What happens after a child has visited the clinic?

You, as the child’s referrer, will receive a report containing the results of the child’s assessments within three weeks of their visit. You can feedback the information in this report to the child and family and use it to guide the ongoing support you are providing for the child.

15 Chaucer Road Cambridge, CB2 7EF

Telephone: +44 1223 273654 or +44 1223 273762


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