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Insights and News


How to help schools help your autistic child

Posted on Tuesday, 10 November 2020, in OpenHouse Events, Child Autism, Child & Teen ADHD

How to help schools help your autistic child


This webinar took place on 11th November 2020. 

In this event you can hear from leading education advocate Fiona Slomovic  and top clinical psychologist Dr Ann Ozsivadjian on how to navigate the school support system and ensure your child gets the help they need. Hosted by Lucy Sanctuary - autism expert at Clinical Partners. 

 You can view the full recording, and information on further OpenHouse events, on our Facebook page here.


Key points you should know: 

 Be clear about the different types of support potentially available from schools and which are appropriate for your child: 

  • Social and emotional support - This could be providing a safe place or a go-to person for times of difficulty, or providing social skills training 
  • Language support - This could be giving a child a language-free method of communicating when they need help - and crucially, making sure everyone knows about it and that the child feels confident to use it 
  • Sensory support - Help with sensory needs such as movement breaks, or providing chewy items 
  • Cognition and learning - Within class, this maybe visual supports for new words, recordable devices to support working memory or technologies to support writing.  In addition, and tailored to the specific needs of your child, there may also be additional support such as 1-1 or small group precision teaching for specific learning gaps, inverventions such as Phonics support,  Reading for Meaning or Lexia Reading Intervention, or writing support, such as shape coding. 


There is a wide range of people who may be able to help with your case, so look to get as wide a support base as possible. These can be your school’s Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo), inclusion managers, educational psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists. 


 In our experience, the keys to getting their support are: 

  • Keep communication open and constructive, try to work as a team 
  • Go through any reports you have in a meeting to ensure everyone is aware of key messages, such as needing time to process or, managing transitions 
  • Remember that school staff are dealing with many children so don't bombard them with emails  


View the full recording to answer more important questions, such as: 


  1. My child is masking in school, but explodes at home. How can I work with the school to get the right help? 
  2. What is an Education Health Care Plan (ECHP)
  3. How can I get extra support for exams when the school doesn’t think my child needs an ECHP? 
  4. How can you help schools understand the communication challenges of intellectually able children
  5. What help can you request when your autistic’s child’s needs are not academic but social and emotional?  


Challenging a decision 

If you think you're not getting the right support and need to challenge a decision, we suggest consulting a specialist service to understand your options and what help is available. Visit advocacyandmediation.co.uk for more details. 


Additional Resources



12 things to tell your autistic child's teacher

What to do when your child refuses to go to school

How can Autism Friendly Support help my child?

The autistic traits you might not think to look for in girls

Helping autistic children thrive at Christmas



Discover your child's superpower

Recognising mental health issues in autistic children

Tailoring support, CBT and mindfulness for autistic children

Spotting autism in girls


Further information

Autism Explained – Comics from Rebecca Burgess

Diagnosing Autism in children

Autism Assessments

Parenting Support

Rae Britton

Rae Britton Content Editor BA Joint Hons, QTS

Rae oversees the creation of a range of content that offers insight, support and guidance on mental health issues. She is both passionate and ably qualified. She is a former primary school teacher, while she also has three children, two of whom have ADHD with one of those also diagnosed with Asperger’s. It means she can combine her expertise and direct experience to shape content that helps those in need to survive, thrive and excel.

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