Criteria and Timeline for Accessing Autism Support

Criteria and timeline for accessing support.

Criteria and Timelines are under review as part of the SEND Transformation Programme. They are also impacted by the current significant financial constraints and pressures facing education.


The Autism Advisory and Information Service follows a model of continuum support. 


Resources are available to children and young people, parents and carers, and educational settings. Everyone can access these free resources from the Autism Advisory Intervention Service on the EA Website. 


Training is available for all educational setting staff. This includes school-based training and online training, which school staff may access via the Children and Young People's Services booklet provided to schools.   

  • School-based training may be requested by liaising with your AAIS School Contact and school Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).
  • Transition training is available at key transition stages, for example, Pre-school, P7 transfer and Post-16 transition. 

Advice and Guidance

Advice and Guidance is available to parents, carers and teachers regarding children and young people undergoing an assessment for autism or have an autism diagnosis and have not been referred to AAIS by an EP. Contact your local AAIS Office for more information.  

Direct Pupil Support

Direct pupil support may be available for referred pupils, if necessary. 

The school’s action as contained in the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) under Stage 1 including the outcomes of regular reviews.

Can a Child or Young Person Access the Service without a Statement of Special Educational Needs?

Yes, a child or young person can access the Autism Advisory and Information Service without a Statement of Special Educational Needs.


An EA Educational Psychologist makes a referral to the Autism Advisory and Intervention Service via the phase-specific AAIS Referral mailbox. 

Once a referral is received and if criteria are met, the Service will assign a team member to your child.

Information gathering will begin within 8 weeks and may include:

  • Parent/Carer conversation
  • School feedback
  • Pupil conversation
  • Observation if required
  • Informal and formal assessment 
  • Attendance at meetings if requested

Within the next 4 weeks, once information gathering is completed, initial recommendations will be provided to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). Additional support may be provided on a needs-led basis. Should additional support be required, the SENCo should could contact the Service to discuss this further.

Your child or young person may need more support from our Service during key milestones and less support at other times. Support is always provided on a needs-led basis.

1 Referral received

8 weeks

2 Information gathering begins

4 weeks

3 Initial recommendations provided

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Contact the Autism Advisory and Intervention Service

The Autism Advisory and Intervention Team can be contacted for advice and information specific to children and young people who have, or may have, autism.