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Autism resources for SENCOs

Pre-Autism Diagnostic Pathway

Before considering autism assessment, schools should work with families and children to identify children’s strengths and needs and put strategies in place to meet those needs using the graduated approach outlined here [114.7 KB] [docx].

In addition, this Pre-autism Pathway Information document gives information about Support Available to all families who live in East Sussex.

Autism Diagnostic Pathway 

The pathway is not a universal screening tool. Schools should only refer children who meet the threshold for assessment.

Documents have been co-produced with parents and carers to support them to understand the different stages of the pathway.

Before starting the assessment process, SENCOs should:

  • hold a face-to-face meeting with the parents and carers to discuss the pathway documents
  • explain that the child will move onto the pathway if they meet the threshold for assessment


First stage of the pathway:

Only use pathway documents as part of a face-to-face conversation. Do not post or hand them over without explanation.

To request your copy, email education.projects@eastsussex.gov.uk

Autism information for parents and carers 

You can share this information after diagnosis:

Pathological Demand Avoidance

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) statement

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