Autism Spectrum Disorder Service

What we do
The Autism Spectrum Disorder Service (ASD) offers advice and support to school staff and a range of professionals and parents/carers so that they can understand the needs of children with Autism, from 2 years to 19 years, and develop specific strategies to support their progress.

How we work
  • The school or nursery SENCO makes a referral to the service with parents/carers permission. They send us information of strategies they have tried, Early Years Foundation Stage or National Curriculum levels and evidence which confirms a diagnosis
  • Once a referral is made it is allocated to a team member who arranges a visit to meet staff, observe the pupil and, when required, meet parents
  • Strategies are discussed with class teacher, SENCo and support staff. Training needs may be identified
  • An Intervention Plan is written and a review timeframe is agreed
How we support schools
We support schools by
  • developing their knowledge and understanding of ASD in education, social and life skills to enable them to support pupils in their settings
  • working collaboratively with all staff to ensure the child’s needs are recognised, responded to and accepted
  • providing an Intervention Plan with suggested strategies and recommendations to meet the child’s needs
  • providing a range of resources to help schools carry out the Intervention Plan
  • meeting with small groups of staff in a surgery session
  • providing a number of training packages for whole staff
  • working with schools to signpost further referral to more specialist services
  • working closely with the autism bases and specialist settings to enhance the range of skills and expertise available and offer strategies to support the students with most complex needs
  • providing Continuing Professional Development in Autism via the Sutton and Merton central training programme
How we support children and young people
  • A child is identified by the school SENCo as having a difficulty relating to their diagnosis of ASD and/or a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care plan (EHC). Then the SENCo organises a referral to our service
  • Parents give permission for us to observe, assess and advise on the child’s needs. • We then give the school an Intervention Plan outlining recommendations and strategies to meet the child’s needs
  • Working in partnership with schools, we can sometimes work with parents to meet the child’s needs
  • We seek to meet the holistic needs of children and young people with ASD. The service therefore seeks to work in partnership with a range of other agencies and services, to promote the best outcomes for children/young people with Autism
  • We can provide expertise and advice at meetings between school and parents/carers for the benefit of the child/young person
  • We can advise schools on the needs of students who may require Access Arrangements in public examinations
  • We can support targeted students who have a statement and /or autism with in or out of borough placements through attendance and advice at specific annual reviews (usually upon request and in the case of complex needs or placement difficulties)
  • We can provide more intensive and targeted support for students requiring specific strategies to avoid exclusion and/or reintegrate into an educational placement as well as those requiring safeguarding intervention
  • When children transfer between classes, settings or key stages within a school, we can support them with a range of strategies and resources to help make a smooth transition
How we support parents
To support parents we
  • can provide expertise and advice at meetings between school and parents/carers
  • run a range of parenting programmes EarlyBird (for parents of pre-school aged children with a diagnosis of autism) and Spectrum Rocks (for parents of school aged children with a diagnosis of autism)
  • can sometimes work with parents to meet the child’s needs by working in partnership with schools
  • can provide expertise and advice at meetings between school and parents/carers for the benefit of the child/young person
  • run an annual autism awareness day for families, usually in the spring term
  • liaise and share expertise with agencies promoting partnerships between health, education, social services, local authorities and parents
  • Spectrum Rocks Leaflet
  • Early Bird Leaflet
  • SOCOM Leaflet


How the service is funded
The service is available to all maintained schools and converter academies free of charge. Additional time can be bought in by these schools and by sponsored academies at an agreed cost. There is no direct cost to parents.

Contact point
Contact is made by the school SENCO to the service. For discussion about the service, email isabell.fisher@sutton.gov.uk 

ASD co-ordinator is Isabell Fisher.
Telephone: 020 8770 6618

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How referrals are made

ASD referral route 1

ASD referral route 2






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