Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. It includes Asperger syndrome and childhood autism.

Advice and information for parents of children and young people with a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of Autism in Dacorum

Dacorum DSPL wrote a leaflet, working with parents, head teachers, SENCos, and Autism Advisory teachers. The leaflet is for parents and carers who either think their child may have autism, or who have recently received a diagnosis. The leaflet lists support groups and strategies that can be used whether the child or young person has a diagnosis or not. The leaflet can be downloaded using the orange button on the right, but is also available from paediatricians at the Marlowes Health and Wellbeing Centre, all Dacorum Schools and School Family Workers.

Autism Review and Outcomes
Our Area SEND Lead in Dacorum is, Ruth Mason. A big part of Ruth’s role is implementing the recommendations of the recent Autism Review.

In 2014 Glenys Jones, a psychologist from Birmingham University, was commissioned to conduct a “Review of Education Provision for Children and Young People on the Autistic Spectrum”. One of the recommendations that came out of the review is that every school should have a Lead ASD person. In some instances this will be the School SENCo but this is not always the case. This person is responsible for acting as an advocate for the young person in school. The role also involves developing their knowledge of ASD and to then employ this knowledge to help make the right decisions in school for the young person, in partnership with the family. The Lead should be familiar with support outside of the school and from other agencies. The Lead should help support the young person with transitions from class to class at the end of the school year, and to and from different settings e.g. nursery to primary, primary to secondary, secondary to further education. The Lead will be the named person for parents to contact and also the key person for other school staff to liaise with over any issues relevant to ASD. The Lead should be involved in the implementation of pupil profiles and also to support at planning and reviewing meetings.

To read Glenys Jones’s final report, CLICK HERE

Hertfordshire are recommending that schools use AET materials (Autism Education Trust) and training is starting in January 2017 for all schools. A key document for parents is the “Working together with your Child’s school” CLICK HERE

This guide will help parents and carers to work with the school to help identify priorities to work on. When looked at online, the guide gives useful resources to links to click on and read. The guide is divided into four key areas: Your child, Working together with the school, Adapting the learning for your child and Supporting your child at school.

For any queries about the Autism Review and recommendations, please contact Vicky McKirgan on

Parent/carer support groups

Within Dacorum there are a number of family support groups.

Woodfield Special School, Wednesday mornings: phone 01442 253476 or visit their website at

Hemel Hempstead: contact Families in Focus on 01442 219 720 or visit their website at

Tring and Berkhamsted: contact Dacorum Family Services on 01442 401 222 or visit their website at

ADD-Vance workshops for parents and carers: DSPL Dacorum is working with ADD-Vance, a registered charity providing support for children, adults and families on issues relating to Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related conditions, to provide training workshops for parents and carers. To find out about the current range of workshops, email Ashley Fabray on

To find out more about ADD-Vance, visit their website on