1 Wandsworth Autism Advisory Service – overview
WAAS – Overview
Who we are?
Our service is a multi-agency team with professionals from education, teaching, SEND, Speech and language therapy, multi therapy team, occupational therapy and psychology service. We also work with teams across the Multi-disciplinary assessment team (MDA). Our service is formed of three key areas to ensure we have and offer a comprehensive service. Advisory, Psychology and Therapy Team.
Peter Dolor – Head of Service
The therapy team endeavours to support, educate and empower autistic children and young people, as well as their families and educational settings. We are a team of experienced professionals who are passionate about ensuring positive outcomes for children and young people. Our current offer for Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy can be found under the relevant tabs for Educational Settings, Parents and Carers, and Children and Young People.
- Leah Jones
- Natalie Fairhurst
- Shona Masson
- Niamh Quinn
- Barbora Slosarikova
The advisors who work within the Wandsworth Autism Advisory Team have extensive experience supporting families, children and young people on the Autism Spectrum. They comprise a specialist team of highly skilled practitioners with experience working in schools, teaching, nurseries and voluntary settings, to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential in all areas of development including academic, social and emotional wellbeing.
The advisory team are our lead trainers in collaboration with our educational partners the ‘’ Autism Education Trust’’. In addition, our advisors provide crucial support, advice and guidance to schools and settings on a range of other training including; using autism approaches to enhance schools offer, emotional regulation, sensory difficulties and an enhanced offer to schools and settings on inclusive practices. The advisory team provide a crucial support to prevent school breakdowns, upskilling whole school teams and empowering families as well as professionals.
- Sonia De Souza
- Andrew Trigg
- Laurain McCarthy
- Catherine Gibson
The Psychology arm of WAAS focuses on supporting wellbeing and positive mental health in CYP with social communication needs. The work includes building an understanding of how autism impacts emotions and autism friendly strategies for managing how we feel. Our work also focuses on building an understanding of their diagnosis in CYP and developing a positive sense of self.
- Dr. Mollie Higgins
- Rose McGeown
- Charlotte Richardson
- Jonathan Stockford
- Sarah Taylor-Whiteway
All Wandsworth Autistic children and young people have equal opportunities to achieve their potential.
To support the inclusion of children and young people with Autism and Social Communication Disorders in Wandsworth through the promotion and delivery of best practice leading to positive outcomes.
- The number of educational professionals who are confidently able to support an autistic child or young person will have increased.
- The number of parents who report that they understand and can support their autistic child’s needs will have increased.
- The number of autistic inclusive educational settings will have increased
- The proportion of autistic children and young people who experience exclusion will have reduced.
- The proportion of autistic children on reduced/ part time timetables will have reduced
- The proportion of autistic children and young people who have their needs met in mainstream settings will have increased
- The proportion of autistic children and young people who move on to positive destinations after school and/or college will have increased.
- To enable effective multi-disciplinary planning and delivery of services for children and families throughout the entire process from emerging needs to post diagnostic support minimising transition between teams.
- To provide (in conjunction with partners) a planned and graduated response to children and their families.
- To provide a point of contact for young people, parents, professionals and settings* to request advice and support.
- To upskill families** through a bespoke and differentiated parent / carer training programme.
- To provide high quality training to upskill settings and the wider workforce to meet the needs of children with social communication difficulties.
- To provide specialist direct work with children, families, and settings at times of specific need and/or signpost/ refer on to other relevant agencies/ professionals as appropriate.
- To provide flexible, enhanced support at times of high need.
- To maximise all children / young people access to the curriculum and provide a rapid response at times of difficulty.
- To provide support to the Multi-Disciplinary Assessment Process.
- To promote and deliver best practice based on latest research-based evidence.
- To provide a framework and training to support high quality transition planning.
The offer from WAAS is divided into universal, targeted and specialist levels of support. Please see individual pages for information on what is available to education settings, parents and carers and children and young people.
Contact us to discuss groups, training and modelling interventions at Autismadvisory@wandsworth.gov.uk
If the child or young person is interested in attending a targeted group, please complete our group screener form: https://forms.office.com/r/MzGYRYyjE3
Information shared on this form will be used to decide the group which best fits the CYP. Once we have your details, we will get in contact with details of upcoming groups which may be appropriate.
To make a referral to our service please complete the referral form and email it to email@example.com
WAAS primarily supports mainstream schools within Wandsworth. Any family and CYP living within Wandsworth is able to access our universal offer of support. In some circumstances we are able to offer a higher level of support to those who live in Wandswortth but attend an out of borough school. In these circumstances, please complete a referral form and these will be reviewed on a case by case basis. All work with CYP attending schools outside of Wandsworth borough will take place at our offices at 1, Siward Rd and not within the school setting.
Collaboration with specialist schools/settings can be agreed through individual discussion with the school.
We strive to support parents, professionals and young people with autism or social communication difficulties. Where possible, we try to respond to feedback and remain flexible and open on how we can adapt our offer to meet the needs of our service users. However, there are some instances where we may not be the most appropriate service to work directly with a young person:
With consideration to the NICE guidelines and the level of expertise within the team we are not able to work with a child or young person who is felt to be at immediate or ongoing high levels of risk. In these instances, WAAS can signpost to an appropriate service or provide consultation to the professionals delivering this support
Some of the areas we are not able to support: