The Autistic Spectrum Disorder Base forms part of the Specialist Resource Base (SRB) programme of additionally commissioned services funded by the local authority and delivered by Norfolk schools for learners with a high level of special educational needs who are educated in mainstream schools. The programme is an important part of the Local Offer of support and provision.
Who attends the Autism Base?
- Children/young people who have a diagnosis of Autism
- Children/young people who are likely to have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan, but this is not necessary for placement
- Children/young people who have tried a range of support strategies but more specialist support is required
- Children/young people will be included in mainstream school lessons and events
It would be expected that school-based interventions have not been effective in enabling the learners to make progress in line with their assessed ability.
Learners who access provision through the SRB would typically fit the following profile:
- Must be in the age range appropriate to the school unless individual agreement has been negotiated with the commissioner
- Have a primary diagnosis of ASD, although related diagnoses could also be considered. Irrespective of the terminology of the diagnosis the learner will exhibit significant difficulties in the triad of Communication, Socialisation and Flexibility of thinking which hinder or prevent them from engaging in mainstream education
- Likely to hold a statement of SEN or Education Health and Care plan but this is not necessary for placement
- Live within 45 minutes (60 minutes for secondary phase) travel time by car to the SRB
- Have a range of secondary needs such as speech language and communication, specific learning difficulty, behaviour, emotional, social, physical, medical, sensory needs
- May have emerging or unmet social, emotional and/or mental health needs in addition to ASD
- Have the underlying cognitive ability to access a mainstream school curriculum once barriers to learning have been addressed
- Would not meet the criteria for complex needs school
- High levels of anxiety related to confusion and/ or fear of what is happening in the immediate environment such that the ability to learn is severely compromised
- Extreme difficulties in the understanding and acceptance of age-appropriate social rules governing, for example, turn-taking, collaborative activities and the sharing of adult attention
- Lack of awareness, to a greater or lesser extent, or even apparent disregard of personal safety and that of others.
- A strong and obtrusive adherence to routines and rituals which makes any change of routine very challenging and may even provoke defiance or other negative reactions
- Considerable, persistent and pervasive problems in establishing and sustaining relationships with peers
- Ego-centric behaviour that fails to take into account consideration for others in relation to what would be viewed as age-appropriate behaviour in any particular situation
- The absence of other primary reasons or causes for these difficulties
How are children admitted to the Autism Base?
- The school/setting where the child/young person attends will make a referral to the Autism Bases Admission Panel
- There will be professional reports in support of the application
- The Admissions Panel meets every half term
- Parents and Carers will visit the Autism Base
- Autism Base staff will meet the child/young person and may observe them at their school/setting.
- Parents and Carers must be involved in discussions and agree to the placement
- Placements to the Autism Base are permanent and the pupils are on roll at the Autism Base School/Academy
Who are the staff in the Autism Base?
- There are two qualified teachers, two higher level teaching assistants and five teaching assistants
- Staff in the base are trained and experienced in working with children and young people with Autism
What is provided at the Autism Base?
- An individualised support package
- All children will have a full-time timetable in line with the main school day
- A space which is just for members of the base
- Resources and equipment
- Close liaison between home and school
- Support throughout the school day as needed
- Access to specialist support professionals including an Educational Psychologist
- Supervision during breaks and lunchtimes
- Parents and Carers are closely involved in planning and reviewing their children’s learning
Please see this link to Norfolk County Council’s transport policy.
For further information on the referral process and dates of County Panel meetings please go to the link below.