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Autism and Social Communication Needs Education and …

Criteria for applying for an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) for pupils on the
Autism Spectrum
From September 2014 Statements for Special Educational Needs will be replaced by Education and Health Care
Plans (EHCPs). These will provide legal protection for pupils up to the age of 25.
In North Somerset a document has been written setting out the general criteria for applying for an EHCP and
with some guidance for those on the autism spectrum. It was always anticipated that in April more
detailed criteria and guidance would be produced. This document sets out some ideas about how
information could be collected and it would be so helpful to have any feedback about what you think of it.
Any feedback should be sent to or ring 01275 885298 or send to
Castlewood at Clevedon.
The SEND Code of Practice asks whether ‘there is evidence that despite … relevant and purposeful action to
identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, the child or young
person has not made expected progress’.
The criteria means providing information on the following:
Evidence of
Evidence of
Impact of
support and
what difficulties
What an EHCP
would provide
The following pages set out the type of needs you might see and the ways these needs might be supported.
You can highlight the ones that apply if wished.
The final grid provides a structure for providing information to the panel so that you can demonstrate the
severity of need and that despite support inadequate progress has been made.
Autism and Social Communication Needs
Education and Health Care Plan Criteria
Needs (please highlight ones that apply):
Communication and language
1. Limited verbal communication or no language
2. Repetitive or stereotyped phrases
3. Understanding tends to be literal
4. Significant difficulty with non-verbal communication e.g.
body language/facial expressions
5. Difficulties demonstrating joint attention
6. May use behaviour to communicate, including
challenging/inappropriate behaviour or
withdrawn/anxious behaviour
Emotional and social development
1. Limited understanding of own feelings and difficulty
recognising feelings in others
2. Lack of awareness of others, difficulty with turn taking
or seeing things from the perspective of others
3. Limited or inappropriate peer interactions
4. Approaches others in unusual or inappropriate way
5. Withdrawn/isolated or dependent on adults
6. High anxiety
7. Negative about self
Learning and flexible thinking:
Requires adult intervention/supervision/prompting for
self-care routines
Needs support to maintain attention on tasks
Repetitive/ritualistic behaviour prevents learning
Difficulty with motivation, including response to
classroom rewards
Difficulty organising self and materials for a task even
with visual and verbal prompts and adult modelling
May not generalise learning from one setting to another
Difficulty managing change even if prepared
Own interests prevent focus on others/tasks
Sensory issues:
Unusual response to some sensory stimuli
Extreme reaction or difficulty tolerating stimuli such as
May seek sensory feedback such as rocking, mouthing
At risk of self-harm due to sensory needs
Types of support
Examples of support that may have been used please highlight what has been done
At the bottom please list all relevant school staff training
Communication and Language
Visual support for language (e.g. visual timetable, prompt
Teaching of social language, e.g. saying hello, how to add a
comment linked to what said, waiting for a turn
Use of PECs or makaton/signing or other augmentative
Adults trained to use simplified, direct, literal language and to
leave processing time
Teaching of joint attention skills (e.g. ‘Attention Autism’
approach or prompts for where to look to see what others
are referring to)
Work to help understand social situations, for example using
‘Social Stories’ and scripts and ‘Cartoon Conversations’.
Emotional and Social Development
Adults modelling and teaching specific social skills in
classroom and other contexts such as break time, use of
social skills programmes e.g. ‘Time to Talk’
Tracking of behaviour that may indicate anxiety and use of
strategies to prevent this (e.g. body breaks, use of 5 point
scale )
Peer support and awareness (e.g. structured peer awareness
sessions organised by pupil; circle of friends type approaches
Teaching of what friendship is and strategies for being a
Opportunities to ‘check in’ and ‘debrief’ so that feelings can
be discussed, use of rating scales or other ways of recording
Learning and flexible thinking
Play skills directly taught, for example using ‘Identiplay’
Preparation for change using ‘Social Stories’ & scripts, use of
visual timetable
Use of TEEACH type strategies to support
Clear routines used to reduce anxiety
Alternative means of recording work used when this is a
barrier to learning (e.g. word processing rather than writing)
Differentiation of teaching for activities that are difficult for
young people on the autism spectrum, for example
imaginative writing, writing an account from the perspective
of a character, presenting different opinions, comparing and
contrasting strengths and difficulties
Support to help pupils focus on an adult directed task rather
than on their interest/agenda (e.g. ‘first… last structures, or
designated time after teaching session for talking about
Appropriately differentiated homework
Use of special interest and other structured motivators such
as structured rewards to support engagement
Sensory issues
Time out from places with high sensory load, (e.g. quiet
space, sensory room)
Sensory diet/regular movement breaks
Planning of classroom environment and seating, e.g. so
listening and work have distractions minimised
Support for lunchtimes both re sensory demands of
halls/canteens but also to ensure that pupil is eating well
Autism and Social Communication
Education and Health Care Plan Criteria
Pen picture of needs and how
these impact on activities
What intervention has targeted
and additional support provided
(please detail use of external
agencies, staff training & individual
support )
n & language
Emotional &
Learning &
Please write a
why an EHCP
would be
Impact of support – progress &
what difficulties persist
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