Caudwell International Children’s Centre Opens Today

“First of its kind autism centre aims to dramatically cut diagnosis waiting time”

This is the headline today on Sky News introducing an article on the opening of an autism diagnosis centre in Keele, Staffordshire.

The headline above an article in the ‘i’ newspaper (sorry, I can’t find it online) reads “Children’s Centre will end autism postcode lottery”.

The NAS has long highlighted  the twin problems affecting the diagnosis of autism in children;  the postcode lottery and long-waiting times. (As a parent, I have had personal experience of both). The ending of  a postcode lottery and dramatic cuts waiting times are admirable intentions, and we wish the Caudwell International Children’s Centre (CICC) all the best in these ambitions, although we note that the project is not without controversy

In the absence of  public funding, a private individual, John Caudwell, billionaire founder of Phones4U, has  paid for most of the development as an act of philanthropy. In 2017, when he initially pledged £9 towards the cost of the centre, he and his charitable foundation were criticised by some for espousing and supporting too many ‘alternative  and  non-scientific therapies’, notably in article by The Times’ Science Correspondent.

We hope and assume that the fact that the CICC is located within Keeele University means that academic and scientific rigour will be applied to its operation. We will await developments…

This is how the CICC announced the opening on its website: