skip to content

Communication and interaction: Parents or carers

Communication and interaction support

If your child needs extra support with communication and interaction you need to speak to your school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or SEND Outreach Team

Supporting parents or carers

Nationally, Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) remains the most common primary type of need for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Some families begin by suspecting that their child may have autism as they are displaying ASC type behaviours. For many children and young people Autism in not the root cause of their communication and interaction needs.

Our communication and interaction pathway

In North East Lincolnshire we have a communication and interaction pathway that helps families, with the support of other agencies, to determine what works best to support their child and help them achieve.

What to do if your child displays Autistic behaviours (Ages 5 to 16)

If you are worried that your son or daughter is displaying Autistic type behaviours you can talk to the SENCO at your child’s school or setting. If you need support to talk to the school, you can ring Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) on 01472 355365. A SENDIASS worker may be able to join you at meetings with the school and help with any questions.


The school SENCO may decide to refer your child to the SEND Outreach Team where your child will be directed to either a SEND Outreach Project Worker or the Specialist Teacher for Communication and Interaction. Their role is to support mainstream schools across the local area providing them with advice and strategies to support teaching and learning, to meet the needs of pupils displaying Autistic type behaviours.

No diagnosis is required to access the service, but your child will need to have had support in school and to be on the SEN Register.

The school SENCO will work with you to complete a referral form and observation checklist. This will help identify your child’s needs.

Decision on next steps (Triage)

Your child’s referral will normally be triaged within 2 weeks. Following the triage meeting a support pathway will be identified, which may include further support in school, signposting parents or involvement from the SEND Outreach Team or Specialist Teacher.

Referrals that are received at the end of the term will be reviewed at the beginning of the following term as these service are term time only.

Meeting and observation

Youreslf, your child, the school and the SEND Outreach Project Worker or Specialist Teacher will then meet and agree suggested outcomes. Your child may be observed in class, following the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycles. This cycle can be seen in the Communication and interaction needs and Autistic Spectrum Condition process map (PDF, 86KB).

If this approach is not having an impact a referral to another agency may be suggested.

Further information

If you need more information about the process then please contact the team by email at

Contact details

SEND Outreach Team, Civic Offices, Knoll Street, Cleethorpes, DN35 8LN

Telephone: 01472 325950  


You already voted!