Early Years Autism Support Team

Our Early Years Autism Support Team is part of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Team at Southwark Council.

The Early Years Autism Support Team can offer support for:

  • • Parents/Carers of children under 5 years old diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are living in Southwark.
  • • Early Years Practitioners and settings (nursery and reception) in developing their skills in working with children with ASD

Support for parents/carers of children under 5 years

The Early Years Autism Support Team may offer:

A short block of input at home for parents/carers
As part of the home visits we support parents/carers to identify current priorities for their child and work together to make progress in these areas. These could include: play, communication and social interaction, toileting and sleep.

If a child attends a nursery setting we would work collaboratively between home and nursery to focus upon shared priorities and encourage generalisation of a child’s skills across both environments.

We would also closely work with any other professionals supporting a child. This may include NHS Speech and Language Therapy, KIDS home learning.

We also have access to an interpreting service, and with advance notice we can offer home visits with an interpreter if required.

‘Next Steps’ – Parent/Carer Course

This is a 7-week course with 2 home visits.

The course focuses upon understanding the diagnosis of ASD and how this relates to your child and strategies that you can use. It is also an opportunity for you to share experiences with other parents/carers in a small supportive group environment.

Please note, the course is by invitation only.

How can I access input from the Early Years Autism Support Team?

All preschool children with a diagnosis of ASD are referred to our service directly from the Autism Related Disorders Clinic (ARDS) at Southwark’s Sunshine House.

There is a waiting list for our service. A member of our team will contact the parent/carers to make an offer of support to the family once they reach the top of our waiting list.

Whilst we make an offer of support to children and their families, it is possible to defer the service offer if circumstances at that time make it difficult for you to commit.

For further information please email:

Support for Early Years Practitioners and settings

The Early Years Autism Support Team provides a regular 2-day autism training:
‘An Introduction To Autism For Early Years Practitioners’

This is a course for practitioners working with children with ASD in early years settings (pre-school, nursery and reception).

This course focuses on developing practitioners’ understanding of autism and the children they are working with linked to the Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS). It gives practical strategies on key topics such as interaction, play, communication, learning, and behaviour.

There is an optional follow-up visit at the setting that focus on practitioners and settings putting autism strategies in place and developing an autism friendly environment.
Settings can access this training by completing booking form on the online training directory.