PUNCH (Picking Up the Needs of Children while still young) is a unique project which aims to speed up the assessment process for autism spectrum conditions (ASC). The project builds on a feasibility study conducted in Bradford and is now rolling out to all primary schools in Bradford and York during the academic year 2020/2021. It tests whether  the Early Years Foundation Stage profile assessment can be used to identify children in Year 1 who may benefit from an ASC assessment.  The assessment is conducted within the school by a team of clinicians and education experts. Parents/carers and teachers are also partners in the assessment process.
The ultimate aim of the project is to detect ASC earlier in children’s school career so that they can get the support they need to reach their full potential.

Information for Schools and Parents

Information sheets

Further information is available on the links below. If you cannot find what you are looking for please email PUNCH@bthft.nhs.uk

Assessment process


Consultation with parents and carers

An ADI-R questionnaire is completed with the parents of the child being assessed


Assessments with children

An ADOS assessment is undertaken with the child to determine their needs


Classroom Observation

A classroom observation takes place to assess the child’s social and other interactive skills.


Keeping Parents and Carers Informed

The parent/carer is informed of the results of the assessment either over the telephone or in person at school.


A report is produced

A report is provided to the parents/carers with a copy given to the school and the GP.


School sign up

    Meet the team

    Professor Barry Wright

    Action Project Leader and Professor

    Kuldeep Sohal

    Programme Manager

    Dr David Sims

    Medical Director

    Dr Claudia Salt

    Senior Clinical Psychologist

    Professor Mark Mon-Williams

    Director of CAER

    Dr Brian Kelly

    Senior Research Fellow

    Dr Sara Manoor

    Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

    Dr Konstantopolou Kalliopi

    Specialist Trainee

    Natalie Langley

    Assistant Educational Psychologist

    Geoff Morgan

    Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist

    Rachael Vann

    Rachael Vann

    Neurodevelopmental Team Manager

    Cathy Hulin

    Research Support Officer