AOT are education-based teachers and practitioners who support educational settings to develop improved understanding of autism and to identify and implement strategies to support autistic children and young people.
AOT undertakes work with school age children (4-16) with a diagnosis of autism, where additional support is requested by the school through a referral to the service.
AOT works right across the ability range, supporting children in mainstream and special education placements with some consultative work to autism specific settings. AOT can also support the education of Leicestershire students who have an EHCP within Further Education colleges.
AOT has an allocated specialist advisory teacher covering every geographical area of the county of Leicestershire.
There is no charge for the AOT teachers or practitioners’ involvement, however training and interventions delivered by AOT staff will incur a charge.
If pupil-specific support is needed for a child with a diagnosis of autism, then schools can make a referral to Autism Outreach.
The decision to refer a pupil to Autism Outreach should be led by the needs of both the pupil and the school. Parental consent is also required. Not all pupils with a diagnosis of Autism will need to be referred. The needs of the pupil may be met by quality first teaching approaches and/or the school may have a high level of confidence and experience in meeting autistic needs.
Referral forms are available from AOT Business Support: AOSReferrals@leics.gov.uk or via http://www.leicestershiretradedservices.org.uk/Page/14868
The referral form has two sections; one to be completed by the school and the other by a parent or carer.
Evidence of an Autism diagnosis will be required as part of the referral process. This will be the diagnostic letter from a Health professional, who has used ICD-10/DSM-V criteria to assess.
Additional support services
Autism Outreach offer a wide range of training packages to schools. Central to this is the Autism Education Trust tiered training, which includes Making Sense of Autism (recommended on a 3-yearly basis), Good Autism Practice, AET Progression Framework and modules on Anxiety and Exclusions.
AOT also deliver a range of bespoke training packages to address needs commonly raised by schools and reflecting the impact of current issues. This includes training such as Transition, Anxiety, Diagnosis and approaches to developing Social Communication.
Centralised AET training (remote access) is offered on a termly basis to address the training needs of individuals or smaller numbers of staff in schools (e.g. new staff).
In addition, Autism Outreach host termly ‘Strategic Lead Meetings’ for SENCOs or staff with whole school strategic responsibility for Autism. At these virtual meetings, schools can share best practice, experiences and challenges with colleagues in neighbouring schools. Attendees may also receive AOT/ AET updates, discuss autism specific strategies and explore opportunities for collaborative working.
Autism Outreach Team now offer all schools access to a ‘Communication and Interaction Surgery’ to explore the needs of pupils with Communication and Interaction needs (who may or may not have a diagnosis of Autism) and to identify strategies to support these pupils
AOT offer termly parent workshops, delivered remotely, which aim to provide an overview of autism and offer supportive strategies. These are free to attend and open to parents living in Leicestershire with a child with a diagnosis of autism. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Click here to visit the Autism Outreach Team website for lots more information.