Autism support in schools

Autism Outreach Team (AOT)

Part of our Local Offer providing advice and support to children, families and education establishments across Leicestershire. We advise Leicestershire maintained schools on how to best meet the needs of pupils on the Autism Spectrum. We also offer child specific advice for children with an Autism Spectrum (ASD) diagnosis aged 5–19 years.

The AOT are the East Midlands Hub for the Autism Education Trust providing training to Leicestershire maintained schools.

Autism workshops for parents

Autism - parents' workshop autumn 2023

Bookings for our Autumn 2023 autism parents workshop are now full. If you're interested in joining our waiting list for future workshops, please email

Please note that your child should have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

If for any reason you're unable to attend the course, please email These courses are highly subscribed. For information about future courses please email or telephone 0116 305 9400

You may also find support at the Leicestershire Autistic Society.

What do we offer?

We offer a wide range of support, such as:

  • Help to schools to identify issues early and provide practical advice to support inclusion
  • Advice on approaches to enhance quality first teaching for autistic learners, from EYFS to Post-16
  • Training, information and support to enable schools to develop and embed good autism practice
  • Support to understand autistic strengths and needs, including anxiety and distressed behaviours 
  • Pupil-specific advice for learners with an Autism diagnosis aged 5–19 years (Leicestershire maintained schools and academies can make a referral to Autism Outreach via
  • A wide range of training packages (see below) to equip schools with the information and strategies to be able to meet the needs of autistic pupils
  • Access to ‘C&I Surgeries’ for all Leicestershire maintained schools to explore the needs of pupils with Communication and Interaction (C&I) needs. These 45-minute surgeries are for schools to explore the needs of pupils with or without a diagnosis of Autism without making a referral to Autism Outreach. They provide an opportunity to review strategies and interventions and to access advice and signposting. 

Find out more about how the Autism and Learning Team operates:

Making Sense of Autism (MSA) 
Making Sense of Autism (MSA) 

This is a 90-minute raising awareness module for anyone working in schools. This includes teaching and support staff, office and ancillary staff, caterers, caretakers, transport staff and governors.

Please find the AOT referral form and other useful resources below:

Information for families

The Autism Outreach Team (AOT) recognise that parent/carers are fundamental to supporting the children and young people we work with.  

Parents/carers are the experts on their young person and offer great insight into their strengths and needs. We know that working in collaboration is essential to listen to the ‘voice of the family’ and develop our practice accordingly.

AOT also acknowledge the pressures and anxieties some parent/carers may face at times in parenting a child on the autism spectrum.

The views of the parents / carers are an integral part of the Referral Form which is completed when a request for pupil-specific Autism Outreach involvement is made. This ensures that parents/ carers are aware of the request for AOT involvement from the start and their views are sought.

Once the referral form has been received and Autism Outreach involvement has been agreed, parents/carers are contacted by letter to inform them of which member of the team will be leading on providing pupil-specific support for their child.

Following this, the AOT teacher will liaise with the school’s Senco to organise an initial referral meeting at school.  This meeting must include parents/carers, the Senco and where possible, other relevant school staff. At the referral meeting, parents/ carers will be asked to share the pupil’s strengths and challenges, so that an initial understanding of the pupil’s profile can be gained. Priorities for Autism Outreach involvement will be identified and next steps agreed.

Following the referral meeting, Autism Outreach may meet with parent/carers at review meetings, school meetings to discuss specific issues or areas of need, multi-agency meetings or EHCP Annual reviews.

The team have been very helpful and understanding.  It’s been hard to get specialised help for autism and I feel they understand the needs of my daughter.

Where parents/ carers have a query or concern about the support being provided to their child in school, parents should first contact the school to discuss. If appropriate, parents /carers may then request a meeting with the school with AOT staff present to resolve any queries or concerns.

If parents have ongoing concerns about the support their child is receiving in school and do not feel that these concerns are being addressed, then they should contact SENDIASS. SENDIASS (formerly the Parent Partnership) is an independent service that offers free, confidential and impartial information, advice and support to parents and carers of young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) as well as young people themselves.


SENDIASS can be contacted by phone at 0116 305 5614 or by email at

Autism Outreach are a schools-based service and do not complete any work in the home. Autism Outreach can provide training to Early Help staff, Social Care workers, the Inclusion Service and other professionals who are available to support families in the home. Where parents/ carers identify issues or concerns in the home, AOT can signpost schools and parents to seek advice and support from other services, community groups or sources of information.  

Autism Outreach offer limited direct support to parents. This includes:

  • Autism Outreach Parent workshops (termly, 2 x two-hour daytime sessions).  Please contact for details 
  • Signposting to sources of support in the Local Authority
  • Signposting to local voluntary sector autism societies/support groups 
  • Limited telephone-based contact with parents/carers, where communication with the child’s school has been sought in the first instance

The offer to parents is subject to review of the LLR Neuro-developmental pathway. 

Useful links for families

Autism Education Trust

National Autistic Society

Ambitious about Autism

Leicestershire Autistic Society (includes details of local sources of support and activity groups)

Early Help