We're a team of specialist advisory teachers and specialist advisory support workers for children and young people with autism/social communication and interaction needs.
We work collaboratively with others to build capacity and to bring about positive change for children and young people with autism/social communication and interaction needs. Our practice is underpinned by our service values and beliefs.
Our values and beliefs
- Collaborative working
- Evidence based practice
- Person centred
- Open and honest communication
- Respectful engagement
- Strengths based
- Building inclusive environments
Meet the team
Between us we have a breadth of knowledge and specialist expertise to help you meet the needs of children and young people with autism/social communication and interaction needs.
Our SCI team are:
- principal educational psychologist
- Dr Naomi Robinson
- specialist advisory teacher:
- Louise Stringer
- Lora Moore
- Chris Goodchild
- Hayley Audin
- Heather Collin
- specialist support worker:
- Melanie Booth
- Lucy Shea
- Gemma Whitfield
What we do
We support children and young people with social communication and interaction needs, including those with a diagnosis of autism. We work in a range of educational settings across all age phases, providing hands-on strategies to meet the holistic needs of the child or young person.
Our aim is to support practitioners and families to meet the needs of children with autism/social communication and interaction differences by working collaboratively to support the 'assess, plan, do and review' process and promote inclusive education.
Our service offer
Our service model has been developed to support the delivery of a fair and equitable service that meets the needs of our most vulnerable children and young people and supports settings to prioritise children and young people for Social Communication and Interaction (SCI) team involvement. A tiered system has been established within the needs-led model that supports the graduated approach outlined in the SEND Code of Practice (2014) and promotes early intervention.
Tier 1: Building capacity
Termly planning meetings with SENCOs to discuss pupil and school level needs and agree priorities for SCI work.
A centralised training programme for schools which includes:
- An introduction to autism
- Understanding and using visual structure to support children with SCI needs in early years settings and schools
- An overview of using social stories and comic strip conversations
- Supporting key transitions for children with SCI needs (schools)
- An overview of music interaction
- LEGO Therapy
- Makaton Taster
- Early identification of SCI needs
- Analysing and Managing Behaviour for children with SCI needs.
- Autism and Girls.
- Makaton Signing for Babies.
A centralised training programme for parents which includes:
- Supporting key transitions for children with SCI needs/autism
- Cygnet Parenting Programme
- First Steps Parent Workshops
- Thinking Differently Parent Workshop
- Makaton Taster
- Makaton Signing for Babies
Tier 2: Consultation
We'll prioritise advice for pupils who:
• Are early years pupils with identified SCI needs (these pupils must have at least 1 reviewed cycle of APDR from your setting)
• Are at risk of exclusion and have a diagnosis of autism
• Have significantly low levels of attendance and have a diagnosis of autism
• Need support to settle into Y7 and have a diagnosis of autism
All work within tier two must be agreed through a planning meeting or be part of our transition support offer.
Tier 3: Individual work and modelling
Where a higher level of support is identified by the SCI practitioner, school may need to access tier three involvement.
This could include:
• Modelling strategies/techniques to staff and/or parents/carers e.g. Inclusive Practice, use of PECS and/or Makaton
• Coaching staff to deliver an intervention such as Lego Therapy, Music Interaction, The Big A Programme
• Individual work with a pupil e.g. Ideal School
• Observation and feedback of how strategies and provision are implemented
All work within tier three must be agreed through a planning meeting or be part of our transition support offer.
- Autism Alliance - a network of 18 autism charities supporting many thousands of adults and children with autism across the UK.
- Autism Education Trust - supporting effective education practice.
- Autism Independent UK - help to raise the awareness of autism, and provide well-established and newly developed approaches in the diagnosis, assessment, education and treatment of autism.
- I CAN - children’s communication charity. Experts in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to thrive in a 21st century world.
- The National Autistic Society - the leading UK charity for people on the autism spectrum (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. They provide information, support, pioneering services, and campaigns for a better world for people with autism.
- Request to provision panel for entry/exit of placement at Oakhill resourced provision
- Social communication and interaction 16 toolkit
How to get in touch
Schools can discuss children and young people with autism/social communication and interaction needs who may require support from the service during regular planning meetings.
Early years settings can seek advice and support at one of our SCI surgeries.