SRP level 2 needs Autism / Speech language and communication needs

Cognition and learning

  • Are likely to have a specific diagnosis of Autism. Some will not have a diagnosis as yet, but may be on a diagnosis pathway and / or have a social communication need or a Speech, Language and Communication Need (SLCN) that presents in a similar way and requires a similar approach to the curriculum, teaching and learning.
  • Their needs will have a significant impact on their learning and their ability to access mainstream education without intensive specialist support.
  • Will have more complex learning difficulties but will have potential to accelerate learning and access a differentiated mainstream curriculum with the right specialist provision in place.
  • At primary age will be learning at or over 3 years below peers but potential to accelerate progress with the right provision in place.
  • At secondary age will be learning at around at or over 4 years below peers but potential to accelerate progress with the right provision in place.
  • Will start at school needing to access specialist support to learn how to access learning and the curriculum.
  • Will need targeted support to attend to activities outside their areas of interest.
  • Will need specialist support to learn basic skills.
  • Will make progress in small steps.
  • Will need to practice learning tasks on a frequent basis in order to retain their learning, and will take time to learn how to apply this to other contexts.
  • Will have difficulties with generalising learning and applying it in different settings.
  • Attention may be fleeting.
  • May need support to manage their personal care needs (dressing / undressing, toilet) in primary, taking account of specific medical needs.
  • Will need to access the majority of their learning within the base class, accessing mainstream opportunities for specific areas of interest and with significant support from specialist staff.

Communication and interaction

  • Will have speech, language and communication skills that are significantly below those of mainstream peers.
  • Their communication difficulties may lead to frustration and / or lack of engagement in learning and / or social interactions.
  • They may not yet have a method to make requests for everyday wants and needs.
  • They may currently be using one key word when speaking.
  • They may have an alternative method of communication that is not spoken language. For example, gesture, vocalisations, leading adults to what they want, symbol exchange, a communication book.
  • At secondary will have difficulties in communicating their knowledge and understanding.
  • Will find it difficult to understand and responds to social cues.
  • May have a reduced awareness of adults and peers which affects their ability to form friendships.

Social, emotional and mental health

  • Will need significant levels of support lo learn how to regulate their emotions.
  • May have difficulties identifying when and how to adjust behaviours from others’ feelings and actions.
  • May have repetitive patterns of behaviour and specific interests that can cause barriers in their ability to access new learning opportunities.
  • May have a strong preference to routine which causes significant dysregulation when routine is changed or events are unexpected.
  • May not recognise the consequence of their actions on others.

Sensory, physical and medical

  • Will have high levels of sensory needs, including sensory processing needs, and difficulties with coordination and motor skills, and will need personalised support to learn how to regulate these.
  • May require several, daily, interventions to support management of sensory needs e.g. sensory diet input or movement breaks.
  • Daily timetable may require sessions woven into the day to support sensory needs of an individual.
  • Will need access to resources and environments which enable management of dysregulation without impacting on teaching and learning for others.
  • Will need significant support in a low arousal environment to manage their sensory needs.
  • Will require input from a range of agencies, including specific therapies. This will be identified in their EHCP.

Curriculum, teaching and learning

  • Will have a personalised timetable of small group and individual support with some access to whole school opportunities.
  • Will need to access learning for most of their day within the context of the base class.
  • Will require high levels of adult support to access mainstream opportunities.
  • Will find it difficult to access learning without significant visual structure.
  • Will need regular opportunities to practice and generalise their learning in multiple contexts.
  • Will need a very personalised approach to teaching and learning with opportunities to practice their learning in small groups.
  • Will need a very structured approach to learning independence and life skills. Some may need a fully personalised curriculum and therapy input to support successful accredited learning at secondary and preparation for adulthood.
  • May need learning differentiated significantly, tailored to their specific interests, to motivate them to participate in learning.


  • Will need a specialist teaching and learning base facilities with fewer distractions and access to whole class, small group and proximal external space that can be used for play and to support regulation and to meet sensory needs.
  • Integration into the main school will be more personalised to the CYP’s interests and abilities and will require more adult support.
  • Will require more access to secure external space throughout the day to support regulation and meeting sensory needs.
  • Will benefit from access to a low arousal environment to support with sensory and emotional regulation.

Behaviour support

  • Will need specialist a learning programme that takes account of their dysregulation and strong preference to routine in preparation for when routines may be changed or events are unexpected.
  • Will need a personalised behaviour support plan, which may include elements of positive handling.
  • Will need additional support to help keep them and those around them safe.
  • Implementation of the Ealing Therapeutic Thinking Schools approach or a similar evidence-based approach.

Multi-agency and family support

  • Will access a multi professional team according to their specific needs and to train school staff on implementing targeted programmes so that the right strategies and support are implemented throughout the day. This may include a speech and language therapist (SALT) and / or occupational therapist (OT).
  • Varying levels of inter-agency co-operation and planning, which may include health teams, sensory needs team if required etc.
  • Will need close liaison between home and school, with opportunities for parents / carers to access bespoke training

Staff training and expertise

Staff involved with the provision will have specialist expertise and accessed specialist training related to the specific needs and which may include:

  • Language and communication needs, including specialist approaches and assistive technology.
  • Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).
  • Autism, including Autism Education Trust Training (including that delivered through local outreach)
  • Ealing Therapeutic Thinking schools / Trauma informed practices
  • Delivery of integrated therapy programmes
  • Zones of Regulation
  • Working with families and other agencies
  • Sensory needs
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Last updated: 14 Jun 2024

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