Service description

The Specialist Autism Team (SAT) is a multi-disciplinary team committed to improving the quality and care for people who are autistic. The team provide post-diagnostic support to autistic people aged 14 and upwards, including adults.

The team will focus on early intervention and work to put in place the right package of respectful care and support to prevent admissions to psychiatric hospitals, wherever possible. The team will also work closely with partner organisations such as education providers and social services to provide holistic care and more support where it is needed.

First assessments may be done initially by Attend Anywhere – virtual video conference.

The team offers a range of care and support, as set out below:


The ChatAutism text messaging service is for anyone who has an autism diagnosis, thinks they have autism or are awaiting a diagnosis – as well as their family or carers. By texting 07312 277097 people can get to access free, safe and confidential advice and support from a qualified health professional.

Educational workshops (also known as the team’s routine pathway)

The team offers two workshops:

  • Understanding My Autism workshop
  • Understanding behaviour as functional workshop

These workshops help autistic individuals and their support circle (such as family carers, employers and friends) to understand their diagnosis, triggers, early warning signs and educate them about strategies to reduce frequency or intensity of behaviours of concern.

To attend these workshops, the person must:

  • have a formal diagnosis of autism
  • be 14 years and older

They do not need to have a lead professional to access the workshops.

One to one interventions

After attending a workshop and assessment, the team may offer further one to one support if it is deemed necessary.

This support will last between 13-16 weeks and may include the development of a personalised autism profile, to help individuals and their contacts understand their autism, or engage in the functional analysis assessment and develop positive behaviour support strategies.

Admission avoidance and support (also known as our urgent pathway)

The team will provide time limited (two-week) interventions to help prevent people being admitted to hospital. These patients may be on the At Risk of Admission Register (ROAR).

Interventions may include:

  • Providing specialist advice and guidance
  • Review/update a PBS (Positive behaviour support summary) where it exists
  • Offer one page Autism top tips
  • Offer how to support me guide
  • Develop a PBS summary.

Other services

The team will also provide consultation and specialist autism advice to colleagues from health and social care, community placement providers, and the Transforming Care Case managers via the ChatAutism Text messaging service.

Referral criteria

The SAT supports patients who are 14-years-old upwards, who have a formal diagnosis of autism and must consent to the referral.

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