Over 300 delegates came together for the 2024 conference of the Centre for Autism, Neuro-Developmental Disorders, and Intellectual Disability (CANDDID) to listen to national and international experts talk about ‘Meeting the needs of children and young people with neurodevelopmental conditions and their families’.

CANDDID, based in Chester, and hosted by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) brings together, education, training, and research in the fields of neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities.

Dr Samuel ChawnerKeynote speeches and seminars covered a wide range of topics, such as ‘Safeguarding children and young people with autism’, and the ‘The history of ADHD and its current management’.

Leading a talk on Genomics and neurodevelopmental conditions in children and young people, Dr Samuel Chawner, Medical Research Foundation Fellow, Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics Cardiff University, said: “It’s been inspiring to see so many people in one room focussing on the needs of children and young people with neurodevelopmental conditions. It was great to share research of clinical practice with so many people”.

Prof Shekhar Seshadri Prof Shekhar Seshadri Former Director of NIMHANS, Bangalore and Advisor to Government of India on SAMVAD (Support, Advocacy, & Mental health interventions for children in Vulnerable circumstances And Distress), led a talk focused on safeguarding children and young people with autism. Prof Shekhar Seshadri said: “Autism is increasingly coming to international attention for many reasons, one of the most important issues is safeguarding autistic children. We need to take a stand, both for an individual child as well as for systems, policies and practices that protect and safeguard children from neglect and abuse”.

Here from some of our delegates:

Mandy Whalley, occupational therapist and parent carer said: “My son is autistic - I’ve lived through the diagnosis, how to help him and ourselves get through his development from childhood to adulthood. It’s brilliant coming to a conference like this because I’m learning even more”.

Danielle Parkinson from the Cheshire East Parent Carer Forum said: “‘CANDDID do co-production really well and are a shining example. They see the value in lived experience and how that shapes services to make them more effective”.

For more information about CANDDID, its initiatives, and future events, please visit: www.canddid.nhs.uk.