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Advisory/Outreach Services for children/young people with Autism/social communication needs

Please note referrals for the services below can only be completed by schools and other professionals, such as the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Team

The advisory/outreach service offers consultation, advice and support to staff in our primary and secondary schools to enable them to work effectively with children and young people who have Autism or social communication needs. 

The team consists of a small group of Achieving for Children employed advisory teachers and professionals from our local Specialist Resource Provisions (SRPs) and specialist settings. 

The service supports schools by offering guidance and advice about different approaches and strategies that are effective in supporting the needs of these children/young people. We also enable and facilitate settings/staff to problem solve and help them to understand the reasons behind ‘behaviour’ that may challenge them.

The service supports effective multi-agency working and links up with other services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and educational psychology. 


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)/Social Communication Needs Consultations 

Our AfC advisory teachers and wider outreach team (staff from specialist resource provisions/specialist settings) are pleased to offer school staff the opportunity to access remote consultations. You will be able to discuss specific pupils with ASD/social communication needs and obtain advice, support and ideas to help manage any challenges you are having in meeting their needs/any issues that might be arising. 

These appointments are open to all staff including SENCos, teachers and support staff.

To book a 30/45 minute telephone or google hangout consultation please complete the relevant booking form:

One of team will contact you within 48 hours and let you know who will be providing your consultation - the identified professional will then contact you to arrange a suitable day/time - trying where possible to accommodate your preference. 


The Early Advice and Intervention Panel (EAIP)

All AfC Inclusion Teams sit under a panel called the Early Advice and Intervention Panel. This includes the Education Inclusion Support Service (EISS), the Advisory/Outreach Service for Autism/SLCN and outreach from our SEN Schools and Specialist Resource Provisions (SRP's).

This panel offers schools access to a wide range of support via a single EAIP referral form (word) and one email address  This model seeks to offer immediate information and signposting, without the need for schools to have completed any prior assessment or activity. It doesn’t offer financial resources or 1 to 1 support, but it will signpost to local expertise from schools, SEN resource provisions and AfC teams who can advise schools on strategies to support staff where children or young people need specific approaches to enable more effective inclusion.

These referrals are for more complex cases or for those pupils at risk of exclusion. Referrals are heard at a panel each week and allocated accordingly. Schools will be contacted within 48 hours of panel agreement. 


Bespoke ASD/Social Communication Needs Training for schools (£)

Schools can buy in training from the service for staff INSETs/meetings/twilights. Sessions can be delivered on a variety of themes/topics to match your training needs and support the upskilling of staff knowledge/understanding. 

Sessions can be delivered on themes such as: 

  • making sense of autism
  • making sense of ‘behaviour’:‘why do they do that?’ 
  • practical classroom strategies for learners with ASD 
  • applying the SPELL approach 
  • supporting the development of social competences 
  • the relationship between anxiety and autism.

Schools interested in investing in training can contact Hannah Webber. Email: 


Useful links and Resources: 

National Autistic Society (opens a new window) 

Autism Education Trust (AET) (opens a new window) 

AET schools autism standards, schools autism competency and progression framework (opens a new window) 

Social Thinking: lots of free webinars that can be accessed exploring how to teach a variety of core social thinking concepts (opens a new window)  

Social stories (opens a new window)  

Talking Point: Information on developing speech, language and communication skills (opens a new window) 

The Communication Trust: Lots of useful resources for parents and professionals (opens a new window)