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The vast majority of autistic children and young people live in the community with limited formal support. Autistic children and young people are at higher risk of many physical and mental health conditions, often have poor educational experiences leading to poor outcomes including fewer opportunities to work. Supporting autistic children and young people to lead healthy, meaningful lives and reducing the need for long-term intensive/ specialist provision requires universal (i.e. mainstream schools) to be accessible. Making mainstream schools accessible means that these schools must create inclusive environments by making ‘reasonable adjustments’.
All mainstream schools make reasonable adjustments by using the AET standards and competency frameworks and undertaking the AET Making Sense of Autism training. Thus creating an inclusive environment and enabling autistic children and young people to access positive educational experiences and achieve their desired outcomes.
Access alone doesn’t ensure that universal and mainstream services are utilised or that they are resilient enough to meet the needs of autistic children and young people in a sustainable way. Universal plus requires mainstream settings to help their workforce build their confidence and resilience to supporting autistic children and young people in a sustainable way.
o support educational professionals working in mainstream schools to have the confidence, knowledge and skills to support autistic children and young people to achieve positive outcomes. To achieve this through the AET Good Autism Practice training and Practitioners Guide.outcomes.
The provision of preventative and early intervention approaches can reduce the escalation of need and risk, improve personal outcomes and build capacity. Identifying need at its earliest point and providing the appropriate intervention can reduce cost across the lifespan, as can being responsive to low level needs before they escalate.
To support early years professionals to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to identify neurodiversity and to make reasonable adjustments that result in positive educational experiences right from the start thus reducing the risk of trauma. To achieve this through the dissemination of the AET Early Years standards, competency framework and training.
One important requirement of educational settings supporting autistic children and young people is that they are able to retrieve crises; to manage them while they occur and to steadily bring the situation back to one in which the problems can be tackled over the longer term. This can require specialist support provided by a range of services, across the system. Anyone who requires additional support to prevent or manage a crisis should have access to hands-on intensive 24/7 multi-disciplinary health and social care support at home, or in other appropriate community settings, including schools and short break/respite settings. This support should be delivered by members of highly skilled and experienced multi-disciplinary/ agency teams. The interface between specialist routine multi-disciplinary support services and this type of intensive support service should be seamless. People who present an immediate risk to those around them and/or to themselves may require admission to a hospital setting when their behaviour and/or mental state is such that assessment and/or treatment is temporarily required that cannot be provided safely and effectively in the community. Everyone who is admitted to a hospital setting for assessment and treatment should expect this to be integrated into their broader care and support pathway, with hospitals working closely with community services. For all inpatient provision (secure or not) children admitted to hospital should be placed in an environment suitable for their age and must have access to education.
To provide a School Exclusions Service that supports professionals and families to prevent exclusion and manage it effectively when it does happen. To support local authorities to commission alternative provision that is fit for purpose in meeting
the needs of their local population of autistic children and young people with complex needs. To disseminate training and resources to staff in secure settings to ensure that all autistic children and young people in secure settings have access to a positive educational experience.
The complexity of need of some autistic children and young people means that there will always be a need for longer-term specialist intervention. It is important that specialist intervention isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’ and that the voice of the autistic child or young person is at the centre of designing the support they need. Outcomes should not be set by educational professionals alone or focus solely on the curriculum. There should be a recognition that autism is a difference, not a deficit and all support planning should be strengths-based. Specialist intervention should result in progress and it is important that progress is tracked and outcomes measured.
To provide a School Exclusions Service that supports professionals and families to prevent exclusion and manage it effectively when it does happen. To support local authorities to commission alternative provision that is fit for purpose in meeting the needs of their local population of autistic children and young people with complex needs. To disseminate training and resources to staff in secure settings to ensure that all autistic children and young people in secure settings have access to a positive educational experience.