The aim of The Autism and Communication Service is to improve outcomes for children and young people with autism, speech, language and communication needs.
The service is made up of a team of specialist advisory teachers who work with other professionals to support children, young people and their families, schools and SENCOs to improve outcomes for pupils with Autism, Social Communication or a Speech, Language Communication Need.
The advisory teachers help schools to support pupils with Autism, Language and Social Communication Needs through individual Assess, Plan Do Reviews reports. The reports have agreed long and short-term outcomes and offer advice on strategies and interventions to help the school work towards the agreed outcomes. The agreed review date will also be in the report.
They support schools to build their capacity to understand, develop and implement SEN policies, which reflect the guidance in the SEN Code of Practice as well as local and national initiatives to the benefit of children and young people with autism, social communication and speech, language and communication needs.
The Service also offers advice and training opportunities for schools, SENCOs and support staff, parents/carers.
They provide a service for all maintained and Academy schools in Somerset through individual pupil-focused work, and support SENCOs and schools to develop whole-school Autism and Communication Friendly systems.
They provide support for new SENCOs, and training that is specific to the school, the area or much more general.
A portion of this is in collaboration with The Learning Support Service, supporting them with national accredited courses, for example the National Award for SEN Co-ordination and Level 3 TA Award.
You can find information about resources, training and general information on www.supportservicesforeducation.co.uk and the Autism and Communication service page.
Access to our service is through the Early Help Assessment (EHA) which is completed by the SENCO or Head Teacher for a child in school. Permission has to be gained from the Senco, headteacher and parent or carer. This is sent in and then triaged by an allocated member of the Autism and Communication Team.
There is an allocated Advisory Teacher for each school that can provide an on-going dialogue with schools. If we feel at that stage the EHA is not the right direction, but more school support and possible training, the person triaging will make direct contact with the Senco. Schools and/or parents/carers can ask for support and advice.
All information regarding the Autism and Communication EHA, including criteria to access the service can be found on Professional Choices website www.professionalchoices.org.uk
Contact the service
Karin Twiss – Senior Educational Psychologist
Phone: 01823 357000
Contact provider for details