Autism Acceptance Week: Spotlight on ASD

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Autism Acceptance Week: Spotlight on ASD

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Autism Acceptance Week: Spotlight on ASD

Understanding Autism: Key Insights

Autism Awareness Week shines a spotlight on ASD, revealing crucial statistics and evolving terminology.

  • Only 26% of autistic pupils feel happy at school
  • Only 29% of autistic people are in any form of employment
  • 70% of autistic people experience mental health problems
  • There are over 150,000 people on the waiting list for an autism assessment in the UK

The word ‘disorder’ is being moved away from, with the focus being on a child or young person with autism or a child or young person on the autism spectrum.

The acronym ‘ASC’ – Autism Spectrum Condition is now usually used.

Autism is a lifelong condition which impacts on a child, young person, or adult’s way of perceiving the world. There is never a ‘one size fits all’ to autism.

Everyone will have their own individualised autistic profile.

This will include their own individualised linked co-occurring conditions such as ADHD, Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Disorder, and demand avoidant traits to name a few.

Educational Challenges and Support Needs

From an SEN perspective, children or young people often need support when they have difficulties with their:

  • communication and interaction, particularly their ability to communicate socially
  • Their executive functioning skills such as processing, working memory, information retention and organisational skills
  • Social, emotional and mental health associated needs.
  • Sensory processing difficulties

In relation to an SEN need which may need an EHC plan, the individualised nature of the condition relates to pupils with ASC having uneven educational profiles, some will be good at some things, whereas others may have difficulties.

Local Authority Support and Specialised Teams

Most Local Authorities tend to have a team specific for Autism, a few examples are:

  • Communication and Interaction Team
  • Autism Team
  • Autism Advisory Team
  • Advisory Teachers – Autism
  • Autism Support Team

Whilst these professionals are not typically named in the EHC process, it is worth noting that if you do have a diagnosis or are on the waiting list, a report from a professional from one of these teams can be helpful, and something you can request direct from the LA.

Diverse Educational Placements for Individuals with ASC

There is no one answer as to placement for a child or young person with Autism.

Some will be able to have their education needs met in a mainstream primary schools with a detailed package of support delivered in accordance with an EHCP.

Some may seek a placement at an ASC resource base attached to a mainstream school.

some will need an ASC specialist school

Some may need a small mainstream independent school

Some may need an ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) package which may or may not be delivered alongside a part time school placement.  

EHCPs and Individualised Support

A diagnosis of autism alone is not a special educational need. You need to ask: what barriers to learning and progression in life does my child or young person have? These can be linked to the diagnosis, but the answer will never just be ‘autism’.

Most but not all children and young people with autism will have special educational needs that may need provision to be made in accordance with an EHCP.

Some common provision within an EHC plan could be wording such as:

  • “X will be supported by staff who have experience and understanding of working with pupils with an ASC diagnosis”
  • “X will be educated within a setting which has experience and understanding of working with pupils with an ASC diagnosis”
  • X will need to be given additional processing time
  • X will need X hours of TA support per week
  • X will need a weekly small group (no more than X students) to develop X’s social communication. The group session will be a minimum of 30 minutes and delivered by a Speech and Language Therapist, who will then design a programme to be delivered for 15 minutes each day, on a 1:1 basis, by a HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) who will also sit in on the weekly group

Additionally, you may be considering provision such as:

  • TEACCH approaches
  • Applied Behavioural Analysis
  • Attention Autism


Not all children and young people with Autism need an EHCP. If you do feel your child or young person may need an EHCP, you need to concentrate on what difficulties does having the diagnosis have on the individual?

If you feel you would like to discuss your child/young person’s education matter to see how we can assist, contact us on