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Supporting schools to develop good practice to support autistic pupils in educational settings. 

Who we are

Derbyshire Autism Outreach is a team of specialist teachers who work with school staff to promote the inclusion of autistic pupils in mainstream settings.

What we do

We aim to increase the capacity of staff in schools and maintained early years providers to make appropriate adjustments to their environment, communication and individual provision to enable autistic children and young people to access a range of social and academic learning experiences.  Depending on the experience and training of staff and the individual needs of the pupil, it may not always be necessary to refer a child to our service.  Before schools refer a child with a medical diagnosis of Autism, they should develop provision using the strategies and advice contained in the Graduated Response document and the Derbyshire Sensory Processing Needs Toolkit.

We are a referral-based service offering consultation, advice and support to schools as part of their graduated response to identify, assess and meet the needs of autistic pupils in the areas of:

  • Social understanding and communication
  • Flexibility, information processing and understanding
  • Sensory processing and integration

Support can include:

  • Observation of pupils
  • Advice to staff - including recommending strategies, materials, and resources
  • Attendance at meetings, including liaison with parents and other professionals involved with a pupil to foster positive relationships and encourage consistency of approach
  • Advice and support at key stage transfers
  • Facilitation of liaison between settings to observe good practice and to provide peer support
  • Training to support the development of practice across staff and settings.

The role of the outreach teachers is advisory and does not include direct teaching of pupils.

Referrals should be made to Autism Outreach by the school.  Parents must have given their permission for Autism Outreach involvement. Our involvement is needs-led. Cases will be closed when schools have been given the tools to enable staff to meet the identified needs. 

Our training offer aims to increase the capacity and confidence of school staff to identify and manage the needs of autistic pupils. We offer DfE certified courses using resources from the Autism Education Trust alongside courses developed by our specialist teachers focusing on sensory processing needs, anxiety, demand avoidance and other areas of provision for autistic children and young people.

Useful resources:

General enquiries: autism.outreach@derbyshire.gov.uk