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.
Schools access the service through a referral process. Schools or parents/carers can ask for support and advice. Permission has to be gained from the Senco, parent/carer and head teacher. This is sent to SSE to be triaged by an allocated member of the team.
There is an allocated advisory teacher for each school that can provide an on-going dialogue with schools.
Contact the service
Team Leader – Angela Williams
Autism and Communication, Somerset County Council, PO Box 5176, Shepton Mallet, BA4 9DD
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Angela Williams)
Phone 01749 822800
Lead Advisory Teacher – Jo Dennis-Minns
Autism and Communication, The Holway Centre, Byron Road, Taunton, TA1 2JD
Email: email@example.com (Jo Dennis-Minns)
Phone 01823 357000
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