Southwark ASD strategy by MikeJenny


									             Communicating Better
     A strategy for children with Autistic
    Spectrum Conditions and their families

                               2009 - 2014

Draft ASC Strategy Young Southwark   08/07/2011   1

1.     Introduction .................................................................................................... 3
2.     What is ASC? ................................................................................................ 4
3.     National context ............................................................................................. 5
       3.1      Legislation and policy framework ......................................................... 5
       3.2      Data ..................................................................................................... 5
4.     Local context ................................................................................................. 6
       4.1      Policy framework .................................................................................. 6
       4.2      Data: Prevalence of ASC in Southwark ................................................ 6
       4.3      Services for children and families ......................................................... 8
       4.4      Children’s and Families’ views ............................................................. 9
5      Our approach to supporting children and families affected by ASC .............. 10
6.     Making it happen ......................................................................................... 10
       6.1      Child and family focused services ...................................................... 10
       6.2      Support children and families through change.................................... 11
       6.3      A core offer ........................................................................................ 11
       6.4      Training and supporting our workforce ............................................... 12
       6.5      Promoting an ASC friendly borough ................................................... 12
       6.6      Monitoring and review ........................................................................ 13
       6.7      Using best practice............................................................................. 13
       6.8      Resources .......................................................................................... 13
7.     Taking the strategy forward ......................................................................... 13
Appendix 1         Autistic Spectrum Condition Strategy Group ................................... 15
Appendix 2         Legislation and guidance ................................................................ 17
Appendix 3         Services for Children and Families ................................................. 19
Appendix 4         Useful contacts ............................................................................... 24

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1.     Introduction

Young Southwark, our local children’s trust, is a partnership of the key agencies for
children, young people and their families. Our vision is that Southwark will be a place
where every child and young person can have high expectations and the best
opportunities. Young Southwark partners will work together with children, young
people and their families so that they can grow up in good health, feeling safe and
secure, and realise their full potential in life.

Children with autistic spectrum condition (ASC) and their families1 are part of this
vision and should have an equal opportunity to achieve. Children with ASC need a
range of universal and specialist provision and support to enable them to achieve
their full potential. We recognize that when a child has ASC this can have a
considerable impact on their families and so do not underestimate the importance of
providing wider support services and opportunities.

Many services are provided through statutory agencies, however, the community,
voluntary, independent and private sectors are a considerable resource in Southwark
providing support to children and families in a variety of ways. These organisations
are able to bring a valuable diversity of approach to service delivery which is
responsive to the needs of children and families in ways that are not always easy
within the larger organisations. This strategy sets out a partnership approach to
ensuring that the needs of those affected by ASC are met.

This strategy describes how we will:
    Involve children and families
    Deliver a core offer of service and support for children and families that
        recognizes strengths as well as needs
    Support children and families through change
    Train and support our staff
    Promote an understanding of ASC to make Southwark an ASC friendly
    Monitor and evaluate to improve services to individuals and overall

This strategy was developed by a multi-agency co-ordinating group that oversees the
development of local area services for children with ASC and their families. Terms of
reference and membership for the group can be found in Appendix 1. This group is
responsible for developing the action plan to deliver this strategy and ensuring it is
implemented and monitored to realise our vision. The group reports to the Children
with Disabilities sub-group of Young Southwark.

 Throughout this Strategy we have used the word children to include children and young people. Similarly, for ease
of expression’ we have used the term family to include parents, any carers of children and their families.

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2.     What is ASC?
An Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) is a lifelong developmental disability that
affects the way a person communicates and relates to others. ASC include Autism
and Asperger’s Syndrome. [The term autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is also widely
used for this condition.]

The word spectrum is used because, while all people with autistic spectrum
conditions share three main areas of difficulty, their condition affects them in very
different ways. The complexity and severity of the condition and how this impacts on
their lives, and those of their families, varies considerably.

The three main areas of difficulty, often referred to as the Triad of Impairments, are:

    Difficulty with social communication
    Difficulty with social interaction
    Difficulty with social imagination

As well as these impairments, children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition often
demonstrate motor co-ordination difficulties and unusual sensitivity. Children with an
ASC are more likely to have other additional learning difficulties.

It can be hard to create awareness of autism. Autistic people do not look different
but they do act differently. Autistic behaviours in children are often mistakenly
attributed to naughtiness.

What are the characteristics of ASC?

Social communication – there are difficulties with verbal and nonverbal
communication. Some children have no functional speech, are not motivated to
communicate and show little understanding. Others may appear to talk well, using
good vocabulary and complex sentences but have poor conversational skills. They
may talk repetitively and not listen to the other speaker. They often take things
literally and have problems reading facial expressions, tone of voice and body

Social interaction - socialising doesn’t come naturally to children with an ASC.
They have to learn and practise social skills that other children pick up without
thinking. These difficulties affect every interaction, often from early infancy.
Unaware of unwritten social rules people with an ASC can appear insensitive,
strange or rude. They may not see the reason for conforming to social pressure or
expectations. It is also hard to form and maintain friendships. Some children prefer
to be alone; others want to make friends but don’t know how and their attempts
make things worse.

Social imagination – these difficulties affect abilities such as knowing what people
are thinking, making predictions and engaging in creative play and thinking. The
child might excel at rote learning but not know how to use what they learn. There is a
tendency to be inflexible; to like things done in exactly the same way. Imposing or
insisting on rigid routines or engaging in restricted, obsessional or repetitive activities
is common. Some children become obsessed by special interests.

All children with an ASC are individuals and, as well as difficulties in some of the
areas above, they also have strengths. When engaged in an activity which interests

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them a child with an ASC may be able to focus on detail and concentrate for long
periods and so can often achieve more than others. Children may succeed in
academic areas that do not require high degrees of social understanding and where
the language used is technical or mathematical including IT and music.

Although a relatively small number of children are diagnosed with ASC many children
without ASC have needs in one or more of these areas. Improving knowledge,
understanding and support for children and families with ASC will impact on a much
wider group.

3.       National context

3.1       Legislation and policy framework

Children with ASC are covered by the legislation for all children relating to education,
health and discrimination. A list of the main provisions is in Appendix 2.

The Education Act 1996 (as amended by the Special Education Needs and Disability
Act 2001) and the Disability Discrimination Act 2001 place a duty on mainstream
schools to include all pupils fully and strengthens the right of children with special
educational needs to attend mainstream schools where appropriate. This strategy
seeks to ensure that Southwark carries outs its duties under the legislation with
respect to children and young people with ASC.

Every Child Matters: Change for Children is the national approach to the well-being
of all children and young people from birth to age 19. The Government's aim is for
every child, whatever their background or their circumstances, to have the support
they need to:

         Be healthy
         Stay safe
         Enjoy and achieve
         Make a positive contribution
         Achieve economic well-being

This means that the organisations involved with providing services to children will be
teaming up in new ways, sharing information and working together, to protect
children and young people from harm and help them achieve what they want in life.

This strategy is also in line with the national strategies and guidance for inclusion.

3.2       Data

Information about the number of people that fall within the autistic spectrum is based
on epidemiological surveys. A number of such studies seem to concur that the rate of
ASC diagnoses currently stands at approximately one in every 100 children.2 No
prevalence studies have been conducted on adults but it is estimated that over
500,000 people in the UK have an autistic spectrum condition3. National studies have
not found any evidence that the rates of autism vary across different ethnic groups.

  A survey by the Office of National Statistics of the mental health of children and young people in Great Britain: 0.9%
for autism spectrum disorders (Green et al, 2005).
  National Autistic Society, Estimated poluation of autistic spectrum disorders in the UK, May 2007

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4.     Local context

4.1      Policy framework

‘Southwark 2016: Sustainable community strategy’ is an ambitious 10-year plan,
which sets out what people want their borough to be like over the next decade, and
what needs to be done to get there. It outlines three inter-related objectives:
improving opportunities for people; improving the borough’s physical environment;
and improving public services.

The Young Southwark Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) is the single,
strategic, overarching plan for all local services affecting children and young people
in Southwark. It shows how we are connecting and improving our services and
outcomes for all children, young people and their families in Southwark. Redesigned
services for children with disabilities or complex and continuing care needs is one of
Young Southwark’s ten priorities.

This strategy shows how we will deliver on the objectives of Southwark 2016 and the
CYPP for children and families affected by ASC. This work is underpinned by a
number of other policies and strategies that set out how schools are organised and
services delivered to children in Southwark and our commitment to developing our
workforce. These are included in Appendix 2.

4.2      Data: Prevalence of ASC in Southwark

There are approximately 62,000 children and young people aged 0-19 living in
Southwark with 36,000 children being educated in Southwark schools. Identifying the
number of children with ASC is complex as our education settings support both
children from Southwark and those from other boroughs who have ASC. Our
specialist services provide to children with ASC who live within the Southwark but
who do not go to Southwark schools.

Between April 2007 and March 2008 245 children were assessed for possible ASC
and a diagnosis was made in 104 cases. Raising awareness of ASC and developing
the knowledge and skills of those working with children will improve identification of
children with ASC. It will also have a positive impact on the experiences and support
for a much wider group of children and families.

As the data below comes from different sources and at different times the figures will
not match exactly but give an indication of prevalence.

Of the children in our schools4 506 have been diagnosed with ASC of whom 414
have statements of special educational needs (SEN), the remaining 92 children are
on school/early years action plus. In May 2008 there were a further 50 children who
had statements of SEN for ASC receiving education elsewhere, including other early
years provision, at home, in further education and private schools or those in other
boroughs. Nearly a quarter of all statements of SEN held in the borough are for ASC.
There will be other children with a diagnosis of ASC who do not require a statement
of SEN and are receiving support in other non-Southwark school settings. There may

  Based on school census data, January 2008. The figures do not include two academies that did not make census

Draft ASC Strategy Young Southwark               08/07/2011                                                      6
also be a further group of children who require and may be receiving support for
needs associated with ASC but have not yet received an assessment.

Every school has at least one child with ASC. This illustrates the importance of
ensuring that there is an understanding, knowledge and experience of ASC in every

The distribution of statements of SEN for ASC by year group is shown in figure 1.
The relatively higher number of children in the primary year groups may indicate that
we are getting better at identifying this condition.

  Figure 1

                                                                            Post 16
                                                                            includes 3 year
                                                                            groups: 12-14

There are significantly more boys (354) with statements of SEN for ASC than girls
(69) as shown in figure 2.

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 Figure 2

The number of children with ASC in our schools is increasing every year and has
risen by over 80% in the last five years. See Figure 3. Part of this rise is due to
increased awareness of this condition and more timely diagnosis however, it is
possible that there has also been an increase in the number of children with ASC.
 Figure 3

The children newly diagnosed as having ASC in 2007 ranged from two to fifteen
years old, with the average age at diagnosis being six-and-a-half. Each year a
diagnosis of ASC is made for 60 children under five.

4.3      Services for children and families
All children get basic medical care through their GP surgeries and health visitors (for
children under five) and all children must receive appropriate education. It will usually
be a parent, or perhaps a teacher, health visitor or GP, who first realises that a child
is having difficulties. Following discussions between the parent and teacher, GP or
health visitor, the child may be referred to be assessed by a group of specialists.

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These specialists will determine whether or not the child has an ASC and help all
children they assess get the extra help they need.

For some children with ASC the extra help that they can get through their GP
practice, health visitor and school or college will be enough. Other children and
families will need some additional support from specialist services such as speech
and language therapists, occupational therapists or child psychologists. In addition
there are other services, often available through the voluntary sector, to help children
and families with additional needs. These may provide advice, guidance, training and
support for families or play and leisure opportunities for children.

The services that may be available to a child with ASC and what each does are
briefly described in Appendix 3. A list of useful website addresses and contact details
are also provided in Appendix 4.

4.4    Children’s and Families’ views

In early 2008 we surveyed parents of children with ASC. They were asked what
would have improved their experience before, during and after their child was
diagnosed with ASC.

The parents who responded clearly wanted to know more about ASC and how it
would affect their child. They wanted more information about how they can help their
child and about what they can expect from us. Face-to-face discussions and written
documents are both important. Parents would like us to provide information in a
variety of formats that is clear, at different levels of detail and which is written in a
positive way.

Parents identified that they would like more support both from specialists and through
support groups, workshops or drop-in centres: critical points were before and
immediately after diagnosis. They also wanted flexible on-going support, counselling
and training opportunities about ASC in general and issues that affected their child
and family in particular. Specific areas where parents felt they needed help were
behaviour, communication and social skills.

Waiting time for an assessment and for services once a child had been diagnosed
with ASC was a concern. [Waiting times for assessment have currently been reduced
to 4-6 weeks. Children under eight have a general paediatric assessment first for
which the waiting time is about 12 weeks]. Access to speech and language therapy
was particularly identified.

Many children with ASC spend much of their time in mainstream schools. It is
inevitable therefore that parents want our schools to be better resourced and to be
more ASC friendly and aware. They want teaching staff to be trained to understand
how children with autism learn and interact and what this means for teaching and

Parents want us to work better together and to put the child and family needs at the
centre of what we do to support them. They want us to share information better with
each other and with them. Parents reminded us that supporting children with ASC is
not just about providing appropriate support but that we need to deliver it in the right
way, for example, by taking into account times and places that are convenient and
friendly for the child and parents and by providing crèches.

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5        Our approach to supporting children and families affected by ASC

We want children with ASC and their families to have the best experiences possible
and to have every opportunity to achieve their full potential. Our aim is to provide:

     Child and family focused services –delivered according to the needs of the
      child. Children and families are engaged in decision making about their own care
      and in wider service design and delivery.
     Support to children and families through change – the individuals and
      services supporting children and families will, inevitably, change over time. Often
      this is because of the changing needs of the child but may be because of the way
      in which we organize our services. Children and families must be supported
      through these changes so that they experience a seamless transition.
     A core offer – Each child and family affected by ASC is entitled to early
      identification and assessment; appropriate education, health and out-of-school
      opportunities; regular review, support and information; communication suitable to
      their circumstances; and a coordinated, integrated and multi-agency approach to
      the delivery of services and support.

Through this strategy we want to improve the experiences of children and families
affected by ASC. We will do this both by improving services with direct impact and by
creating a greater understanding and acceptance of ASC in the environments in
which our children live. We will do this through:

     Training our workforce – Staff working with children and families affected by
      ASC need the knowledge and skills necessary to provide appropriate services
      and support. Understanding of ASC within the wider children’s workforce will
      promote acceptance and early identification of need.
     Promoting an ASC friendly borough – A well-informed and tolerant society will
      reduce much of the disabling impact of ASC. A broader understanding of ASC will
      promote acceptance, inclusion and early identification.
     Monitoring and review – Monitoring and evaluation is essential to ensure that
      we are planning and delivering our services to meet the needs of all children with
     Using best practice – we will identify, develop and share good practice to
      ensure we are delivering services effectively.
     Resources – We will use our resources to ensure services are responsive and
      are being delivered efficiently and effectively.

All children should live in a safe environment and be safe from accidents, bullying,
crime, anti-social behaviour, neglect and abuse. Children with a disability, such as
ASC, are more vulnerable to abuse, neglect and bullying. All those that work with
children have a responsibility to recognise when a child might not be safe and to act
to protect them.

6.       Making it happen

6.1      Child and family focused services
We place a high priority on engaging with children, young people and their families in
priority setting, delivery of services, decision making and issues of importance to
them. The child and family’s engagement is essential to the success of Team Around
the Child (TAC), our approach to multi-agency working. We recognise that when a
child has ASC it impacts on the parents and carers, siblings and wider family; this
needs to be addressed through the services we provide.

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The diversity of backgrounds of our children and families must be reflected in the way
that we develop and deliver our services.

We will:
 Involve children and families in decisions about services for them personally.
 Involve children and families in decisions about how we planning and deliver
  services overall.
 Support and value the cultural needs of the child and family and provide services
  that are accessible to families from all backgrounds.

6.2      Support children and families through change
All children and families will experience change as they move from one stage of
education to another and into adulthood. The professionals supporting them will
change according to need, service organisation and staff changes. We know that
changes are disruptive and so will support children and families through this. The
transition to adulthood can be particularly stressful as young people move into
environments that are less protected. ASC is a complex, life-long disability. Features
may change over time but individuals are likely to continue to have difficulties and will
need support throughout life.

We will:
 Regularly review children’s needs so that we know when a service or setting is
   no longer right for the child and a change will be in their best interest.
 Support children and families at all transition points between and within settings
   and ensure that those who will be working with the child have a clear
   understanding of how to support the child.

6.3      A core offer
All children and pupils in Southwark and their families will receive a minimum
standard of services and support. This includes early identification and assessment;
appropriate education, health and out-of-school opportunities; regular review, support
and information; communication suitable to their circumstances; and a coordinated,
integrated and multi-agency approach to the delivery of services and support.

In Southwark we are encouraging and enabling professionals to work together
effectively to deliver frontline services through the Team Around the Child (TAC)
approach. This is a way of working with children and families which puts them at the
centre of all work. This approach aims to ensure that children and families receive
joined-up seamless support, no matter how many professionals, services, teams and
agencies are involved. There are five components to the Southwark TAC model:

      1. Every child with additional needs has an identified person that has
         responsibility for coordinating service delivery
      2. There is coordinated delivery of support to the child, young person or family
         by all practitioners involved
      3. The family and practitioners have a clear assessment and record of needs,
         strengths and actions that can be shared, built on and reviewed
      4. The child, young person, parent or family’s engagement is essential to the
         success of the approach
      5. Practice supports and values the cultural needs of the child and family.

We will:

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     Ensure that there is a clear pathway to assessment, support and services for all
      children with an ASC.
     Identify, assess and support children and families with ASC quickly and
      appropriately, taking into account all their needs.
     Deliver support for all children and families with ASC according to the TAC
     Ensure that every child with ASC has a child coordinator who will provide the
      child and family with information and support, particularly through change.
     Educate children with ASC within mainstream schools where possible. If children
      are not making progress in this setting we will work towards alternative
      educational provision.
     Provide support that is coordinated, flexible and responsive to meet the needs of
      the child and family.
     Work towards providing children with ASC and their families access to the range
      of extended services offered through schools. This includes child care before and
      after school, extra-curricular activities and study support.
     Develop our services to ensure that children with ASC have access to
      opportunities to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive
      contribution and achieve economic well-being.
     Communicate effectively with children and families.

6.4      Training and supporting our workforce
The people providing services to children in Southwark are committed to improving
the opportunities for all children in the borough. They are our most valuable asset
and bring a range of knowledge, skills and experience to their work. The ECM
agenda and this strategy presents new challenges. Our workforce will need to have a
shared understanding of what is to be achieved and how best to work together.

We will:
 Share our knowledge and skills.
 Build on the skills, understanding and confidence of our workforce and provide
   opportunities for these to be developed.
 Provide specific opportunities to identify and fill knowledge and skills gaps.
 Ensure that all staff within children’s services have a basic knowledge of ASC as
   part of disability awareness.

6.5      Promoting an ASC friendly borough
Children and families must live, learn and work within a diverse community. The
disabling effect of ASC often comes from the reactions of others. A well-informed,
tolerant and accepting society will significantly reduce the negative impact on
children and families with ASC. Recognition of the needs of children and families with
additional needs, both by those who plan and by those who deliver the wide range of
services in Southwark, will increase the opportunities available to children and
families with ASC.

Early identification of a child and family’s needs mean that we can provide support
earlier. Greater awareness of ASC will help professionals to identify children with
ASC earlier and will support inclusion in universal provision.

We will:
 Promote the needs of children and families affected by ASC to ensure that their
   needs are heard in the development of local policy.

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     Work with our partners, across the Council and within other organisations, to
      help them deliver services in ways that meet the needs of children with ASC and
      their families.
     Encourage every organisation or team to identify an ASC champion who will
      promote an understanding, tolerance and inclusion of ASC within their setting.
     Work with community groups to promote an understanding and acceptance of
      ASC within specific groups and the wider population.
     Target support to groups within our community that are hard to reach or are
      particularly effected by ASC.
     Promote an understanding of ASC within our schools at all levels.
     Influence delivery of the PSHE curriculum to ensure that all our children are
      knowledgeable and accepting of people with ASC.
     Take account of the needs of children and families with ASC when planning and
      commissioning services.

6.6     Monitoring and review
To deliver services and support in the most efficient and effective way we need to
keep looking at what works and what does not.
We will:
 Develop a common database across all services for children and families with
 Monitor and review services.

6.7     Using best practice
To provide the best services that we can we must learn from the successes of others
both within Southwark and nationally.
We will:
 Develop mechanisms to identify and share local, national and international
   examples of good practice to improve delivery of services.
 Support our colleagues in wider services to the community to learn from the
   experiences of others.

6.8     Resources
Children and families with ASC are often accessing services from a range of people
and services. There is the potential for duplication, conflict and confusion. By sharing
our financial, workforce, knowledge and skills and resources we will be able to
provide a more efficient and effective service to children and families with ASC.
We will:
  Work across all services to identify joint priorities.
 Use resources effectively and flexibly to respond to need including identifying
     joint funding and training opportunities.

7.      Taking the strategy forward

The strategy provides an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of children with
ASC and their families. The Autistic Spectrum Condition Strategy Group, which has
developed the strategy on behalf of Young Southwark, will now be responsible for
ensuring the strategy is implemented to realise our vision.

The steering group will continue to meet to develop and monitor the action plan.
Through the action plan the steering group will ensure that interventions used in
health, social care, education and those commissioned from the voluntary sector,

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offer a coherent and coordinated range of support, duplication is avoided and that
there is a continuum of service provision across all age groups.

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Appendix 1 Autistic Spectrum Condition Strategy Group

Terms of Reference and Responsibilities

   1.    To be the local multi-agency co-ordinating Group to oversee the
        development of local area ASC services consistent with the recommendations
        of the National Autism Plan for Children, and the NAS document ‘Make
        School Make Sense’

   2. To liaise with and advise local services & agencies involved with those with
      ASC and their carers

   3. To coordinate and monitor local training in ASC.

   4. To facilitate academic and training links on a wider level to ensure that new
      developments inform local practice

   5. To maintain and supervise the collection of data in respect of the prevalence
      of and provision for ASC

   6. To audit the effectiveness of local identification , diagnosis and intervention

   7. To coordinate service planning and new developments informed by local
      needs and within the framework of the local strategic partnership for CYPS /
      Children’s Services

   8. To develop and plan specific support and intervention services within Early
      Years, Specialist & Mainstream settings on a local basis and within the
      framework of the local strategic partnership for CYPS / Children’s Services

   9. To ensure the voice and influence of service users in service planning and

   10. To raise awareness of the importance of the effective management of
       transitions at all stages of the lives of children and young people with ASC.
       To gather and disseminate good practice re the management of these

   11. To support the provision of and transition to adult services and to establish
       close links with the specialist services to meet these needs

   12. To convene, and participate in, sub groups to assist the Strategy Group on
       specific pieces of work as and when required

   13. To facilitate communication within partner organisations, or when barriers are

   14. To report to CYPS Board / Children’s Services via quarterly progress reports

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Romi Bowen                 Chair, Strategic Director of Children's Services

Pauline Amour              Vice-Chair, Assistant Director Access & Inclusion

Yvonne Ely                 Head of SEN and Inclusion

Wendy Hall                 Senior Educational Psychologist

Dr Jon Clement             Specialist Child Health

Marion Levine              Head of Occupational Therapy Services

Dr Deborah Woodman         South London and Maudsley, Southwark CAMHS

Sue Marsh                  Autism Support Team

Jummy Dawodu               Specialist Child Health and Children with Disabilities

Tina Kershaw               Children With Disabilities & Complex Needs Team
                           (Social Care)

Shoa Asfaha                Parent

Teresa Kahn                Parent

Sandra Gee                 Parent Partnership

Jeanette Bowen             St Thomas the Apostle

Peter White                Head - Brunswick Park School

Ros Tabor                  TiC Tim Jewell Unit, Snowsfields School

Simon Eccles               Head – Spa School

Emma Kennedy / Clinton     Early Intervention Team

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Appendix 2 Legislation and guidance

This Appendix sets out the national and local legislative and policy framework within
which this strategy is being delivered.


Education Act 1996
Amended by the Special Education Needs and Disability Act 2001

Children Act 2004

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Removing barriers to achievement: Government strategy on SEN:

Early Support is the central government mechanism for achieving better coordinated
family-focused services for very young disabled children and their families.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Good Practice Guidance (DfES, 2002)

The SEN Code of Practice (DfES, 2001)

Make School Make Sense, ASD good practice guide. National Autistic Society

Missing out? Autism, education and ethnicity: the reality for families today. National
Autistic Society

Early Intervention Programme; the Government programme to achieve better co-
ordinated, family focused services for young disabled children and their families.

Southwark School Organisation Plan 2003-2008
Strategic aim: to give everyone in Southwark the chance, through education, to
realise their full potential and thus play a valuable and valued role in their community
and in the wider society.

Southwark Schools for the Future aim: Education Vision and Strategy, March 2006:
Strategic aim: All children will succeed to their own level of excellence whatever their
particular needs or background.

Southwark Children’s Workforce Strategy 2006-2009

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Young Southwark Children and Young People’s Participation Framework: February

Children and Young People’s Plan

Children and Young People’s Plan Review 2007

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Appendix 3 Services for Children and Families

1.1     Education
For pre-school children there are a large number of nurseries, some are maintained
by the council and others are private or run by voluntary organisations. All have
access to advice and support from specialists trained in identifying and supporting
children with particular needs. These specialists may work with an individual child
and family, refer the child to another agency who can better help the child and family
or simply provide those working there with advice.

All primary and secondary schools in Southwark are experienced in helping
children with special needs. Within each school there is a person responsible for
ensuring that a child’s additional needs are identified as soon as possible and that
they get the support they need. Often this will be from the class teachers, teaching
assistants and others already working within the school. The school also has a range
of professionals who can provide advice and guidance on the best way to support an
individual child. Many children with ASC are able to achieve in their local school with
this extra help.

We have found that some children with ASC need more support that can generally
be provided within a school. We have therefore identified some schools where there
are specific resources and knowledge about ASC to provide the extra help needed.
Currently, in the primary age range, these are Brunswick Park, Redriff and
Snowsfield schools (Rye Oak from April 2009). We hope to provide resources within
an additional primary school over the next year. At secondary school level we are
working with St Thomas the Apostle and Sacred Heart to develop additional provision
for ASC and we hope to extend this to a third school.

Some children with ASC have very high levels of need, with possibly several
significant disabilities,that cannot be met even in schools with additional resources
for ASC. We have two primary special schools, Haymerle and Cherry Gardens, that
have the specialist staff, experience, support and equipment to help such children
achieve their potential. At secondary level Spa school provides support for children
with severe ASC and Tuke and Highshore support children with learning difficulties
and who might also have an ASC.

Through the national extended schools programme our schools are developing a
range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs
of all pupils, their families and the wider community. These services may include
breakfast and after school clubs, study support, a wide range of extra-curricular
activities, family learning, leisure activities and ICT access. We are committed to
supporting and enabling our schools to ensure that children with ASC have access to
the full range of extended services.

There is a wide range of education, employment and training options in Southwark
and neighbouring areas for young people Post 16. Additional support for young
people with special needs, including ASC, is often available. There are people based
in every secondary school who know about these opportunities and are there to
advise young people. Many young people with ASC will be able to stay on in their
current secondary schools after 16. They will be able to continue their studies in a
familiar environment and carry on benefiting from the extra support that their school
has been giving them. Others may move to a sixth form in another school or go to
college within Southwark or in another borough. All of these settings will have special
arrangements for providing students with extra support.

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1.2     Specialist Education Services
Four Locality Teams provide local networks of children’s services aimed at providing
‘joined up’ support for schools, children, young people, their families and carers.

The locality teams initially include a number of professionals from different fields,
including Social Workers , Educational Welfare Officers, Educational Psychologists,
Behaviour Support Workers, Sure Start Early Years, Children and Adolescent Mental
Health Services (CAMHS) and School Nurses. They work within the local authority
and support individual children and families but, more importantly, they advise
educational settings on how to support their children and families with additional
needs better.

Special educational needs (SEN) team (part of the SEN and Inclusion business
About 80% of children with ASC have a statement of SEN. This sets out a child's
needs and the help they should have. It is reviewed annually to ensure that any extra
support given continues to meet the child's needs. The SEN team manages the
process of determining whether a child needs a statement. They liaise with parents,
other professionals and voluntary organisations to agree the extra support a child will
need. They can also help with arranging, or changing, a school for a child with a
statement and will provide support during the move to another school.

Autism support team (AST) (part of the SEN and Inclusion business unit)
The AST supports teachers and others working in schools to better understand and
meet the needs of students with ASC. Members of the team work with students in
early years settings as well as primary and secondary mainstream schools. In order
to access the service, schools complete a request form identifying their area of
concern and the support required is then agreed. This may be provided through work
with the child, training for staff or support for the introduction of specific teaching and
learning strategies. They aim to work in collaboration with others supporting the
student, and to prioritise support at key points of transition for the child.

Behaviour support
Support for behaviour can be accessed from a number of experienced Behaviour
Specialists working as members of the Locality Teams. Support can be offered to
both schools (for example, in the form of classroom management advice &
strategies) the student and to their families ( via parent/carer groups etc). Access to
this support is usually via members of the locality teams.

Early Intervention Team (EIT)
The EIT is a multi-disciplinary team currently consisting an educational psychologist
(EP), highly specialist speech and language therapist (SALT) and four early
intervention officers (operating across the four identified localities in Southwark).

The EIT offers a service to the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) nurseries in
Southwark, supporting the settings in meeting the needs of children identified with
social communication difficulties. At the whole setting level, the EIT offers corporate
and individually tailored INSET training sessions, while at the individual child level,
support would include the co-ordinated delivery of advice and interventions
incorporating the team around the child (TAC) approach.

In addition, the EP within the EIT conducts monthly diagnostic assessments with
paediatricians at the Social Communication Clinic (Sunshine House) for children
referred from the PVI sector.

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Educational Psychology Service

The educational psychology team provides a service to all schools and nurseries,
including special schools and units. Psychologists are available to advise on
strategies for promoting children’s language and communication, cognitive
development, social and emotional development and sensory needs. All educational
psychologists have training in autism and there is a range of experience and
expertise within the team. In addition to working with individual children and the
adults supporting them, the service can also provide training to others. Psychologists
often work with other professionals including speech and language therapists,
specialist teachers and the social communication clinic team.

1.3    General Health Services
Local GP surgeries provide the whole range of health services including medical
advice and treatment. GPs and health visitors will listen to parents concerns and if
they believe a child may have an ASC will refer them to specialist health services for

1.4    Specialist Health Services – Sunshine House

A range of specialist services for children with disabilities and complex needs have
been brought together in Sunshine House. Staff from health, social care, education
and other partners work together in a new, family friendly building to provide advice,
assessment and treatment.

Children who might have ASC will be referred to Sunshine House for assessment by
a multi-agency team that may include doctors, a speech and language therapist, a
child psychologist and/or an educational psychologist. Following diagnosis a range of
specialist support is available and the child will be referred to appropriate services
according to his or her needs. Each of these specialist services conducts
assessments which are focussed on the particular area of need that they are
supporting. However, they are committed to working more closely and sharing
information better with the other professionals working with a child. They are also
working on developing a common way of assessing children with disabilities. This
should ensure that duplication and overlap across assessments is minimised. A brief
description of each of the services at Sunshine House that might support a child with
ASC is given below.

Community paediatricians are doctors who specialise in children’s health and
development. They are involved in the assessment and diagnosis of children with
ASC, planning and coordinating care and assessing the impact on the family. They
offer advice and support to the family and run a number of specialist clinics for
children with specific difficulties including the Social Communication Clinic.

Speech and language therapy (SALT) are involved in the assessment of children
with ASC. Therapists have specialist knowledge of communication including children
with difficulties in understanding, talking and communicating. They may work with
individual children at Sunshine House, at home, at school, in clinics and in children’s
centres. They also provide advice and guidance to parents and to those in schools
and early years settings who are supporting children with ASC on a day-to-day basis.

The child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) work with children with
disabilities and those with neuro-developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. They

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provide therapy for individual children, undertake behavioural work and support
parent groups.

Children with disabilities and complex needs social work team will work with
children with ASC who have a severe or profound disability. They are able to offer
short-term respite, referrals to play schemes, practical advice and guidance and
family care packages.

Occupational therapists help children to develop everyday skills to become more
independent. They will work with individual children and can offer practical advice on
how the child can be supported at home and at school. They can also recommend
equipment and adaptations that can be made in the child environment to encourage

The special needs health visitor works with children under five with special needs.
They provide information on local and national support groups and resources. They
will discuss appropriate pre-school provision and general disability issues with
parents and are there to listen when needed.

1.5       For parents and families

Parent Partnership
The Parent Partnership helps parents of children and young people with special
educational needs to be heard and understood. It offers information, advice and
support through drop in sessions, training and conferences, telephone advice and
case work.

Parent Partnership is ‘arm’s length’ from the local authority, that is, it provides
impartial advice and support. Information is not shared with the local authority without
parents’ permission unless there are safeguarding issues.

Family Information Service
The Family Information Service (FIS) provides free information and guidance on
childcare and children's services in Southwark including:

         childcare, education, health, leisure, family and parenting support
         free early learning for three and four year olds
         help towards childcare costs
         signposting to useful contacts

Voluntary Sector

There are a number of national and locally based voluntary sector organisations that
support children and families with special needs such as ASC. They provide services
such as information, advice, guidance, support, training and activities. Organisations
and the services they are able to provide change over time therefore the
professionals working with children and families will be best placed to advise a family
about what is currently available.

The National Autistic Society champions the rights and interests of all people with
autism and aims to provide individuals with autism and their families with help,
support and services that they can access, trust and rely upon and which can make a
positive difference to their lives. The Southwark family outreach worker currently

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visits families at home after a diagnosis and offers information, help, advice and

Contact a Family is a UK-wide charity providing advice, information, benefit advice
and support to the parents of all disabled children - no matter what their disability or
health condition. They enable parents to get in contact with other families, both on a
local and national basis. Contact a Family Southwark have been working
successfully with parents and carers in Southwark since 1996. They support families
living in Southwark who have disabled children between the ages of 0 and 19 and
have a membership of over 900 families. They provide advice, workshops, activities,
drop-ins and social events and a regular free newsletter.

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Appendix 4 Useful contacts

Southwark Children’s Services
Mabel Goldwin House
49 Grange Walk
Tel: 020 7525 3863

Sunshine House
27 Peckham Road
London, SE5 8UH
Tel: 020 3049 8101

Parent Partnership Manager
John Smith House
144-152 Walworth Road
SE17 1JL
Tel: 020 7525 5256

Southwark Family Information Service
15 Spa Road
London, SE16 3QW
Tel: 0800 013 0639

The National Autistic Society
393 City Road
London, EC1V 1NG
Tel: 020 7833 2299

Contact A Family
209-211 City Road,
London EC1V 1JN
Tel: 020 7608 8700
Helpline 0808 808 3555 or Textphone 0808 808 3556

Contact a Family Southwark
54 Camberwell Road
London SE5 0EN
Tel: 020 7277 4436

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