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Children and/or young people can experience a wide range of social communication and interaction needs, that may arise from developmental delay, conditions such as Autism, and/or environmental factors such as early childhood trauma.

Staffordshire County Council is working in partnership with the Autism Education Trust (AET) who have produced effective support and intervention materials which can be used for children/young people with social communication difficulties, whether they have a diagnosis of Autism or not.

The AET materials for schools are presented as National Autism Standards (for whole school improvement) and Competencies (for individual teaching).  These frameworks are organised in to four themes: 1.The Individual Pupil; 2. Building Relationships; 3. Curriculum and Learning and 4. Enabling Environments. For further information refer to the AET website  https://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk/resources/schools-resources/ or talk to a member of the Autism Outreach Team.

As a result of social communication difficulties, pupils may need, for example:

  • Modification to curriculum access and curriculum content;
  • Specialist resources, such as visual structures
  • Consideration of the learning environment, including modifications to the sensory environment;
  • Structured and predictable rules and routines
  • Support for social interaction
  • Support for emotional well-being

If the pupil has needs further needs relating to cognition and learning and/or social, emotional and mental health needs then please refer to other areas of this guidance. 

It is acknowledged that all children are individual and each child needs to be considered on an individual case by case basis.  The emphasis, however, should be on encouraging independence as much as possible. 


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