Autism Support and Services in Newham for children aged 0 - 5 years

Services and support

  • Early years support plan
  • The Early Notification process
  • How can I help my child
  • Financial Support
  • Assessment for an Educational health and care plan

Early Years Support Plan

An Early Years Support Plan is an outcome focused plan that will be developed with you, you will be provided with a copy of the document. It sets out the ways in which parents and professionals will work together to support your child’s development. It is useful to share this document with others and when you attend appointments.

Follow this link to download a copy of the plan

The Early Notification Process

The Early Notification process is about allocating support and intervention in a timely way. A child does not need a diagnosis for an Early Notification to be made. If you feel that your child may need an Early Notification please speak to your child’s health visitor, your local children’s centre or your child’s nursery. Once received the Early Notification will be discussed at the Single Point of Access panel and the panel will allocate or signpost you to services based on need.

Any professional who is concerned about a child’s development, should discuss their concerns with parents and make an Early Notification to the local authority, notifying them that the child has or probably has special educational needs.

Action that may be taken following an Early Notification could include:

To find out more about the EN process

How can I help my child?

Groups for you and your child

Little Champions

Is a drop in play session for parents and carers of young children with additional needs such as speech and language delay or sensory needs. Parents are invited to come along to sessions which have been developed to support children’s play and social skills. The sessions will provide ideas of activities to try with your child and an opportunity to talk to a member of staff regarding any concerns that you have about your child’s development.

Connect with me

Connect with me is an early intervention programme of direct therapeutic support for children with SEND and their parents and carers. Its aim is to empower parents as the child’s first educator with appropriate strategies to help their child develop their communication, attention and focus, learn how to regulate their emotions and develop strategies to manage sensory needs. For parents it supports them to understand their child’s needs and receive practical advice, support and sign posting to other services. This service is accessed via an early notification.


The Buttercup group provides a supportive Stay and Play session for children who are not in provision, where a health or early years professional has identified concerns about their development, and who live in the E12 area.

This is a targeted group that supports families for 6-8 weeks, with weekly support from a speech therapist. Following an initial home visit each family will have a Family Intervention Plan which will be reviewed after 6 weeks to see if continued engagement is required. Each week families agree individual tasks for the family to do at home to support their child’s learning and development. The group will also support families to access eligible nursery place entitlement, parenting support, and other stay and play activities. After the group has finished, each family will have a transition meeting as part of case closure.


Come and Problem Solve (CAPS) workshops

Are workshops for families of children with additional needs who are under five.  They provide an opportunity to share experiences and to develop strategies in areas such as feeding, sensory, behaviour and communication. To book your place, follow the link below.

Come and Problem Solve Sessions

SCOPE - Sleep Right Service (Level 3 Service)

Many children who have ASD have some difficulties with sleep. Sleep Right is a face to face service that helps parents and carers of disabled children to improve their child's sleep.

Please complete an online application form at and one of the Sleep Right team will be in touch.

What support is available for parents/carers?

Parent support and training

Parent support and training is available to help you to further develop the skills and knowledge you may need to support your child’s development. This includes:

Early-Positive Approaches to Support (EPAtS) training a seven week course for 2.5 hours per week. It is facilitated by a professional and a parent with lived experience.

This is a course for parents with a child(ren) aged 0 – 5 where development delay or learning difficulties has been suggested.

Places on this training are allocated following an Early Notification. Please speak to your child’s health visitor, speech and language therapist, key person or other professional to ask about an Early Notification for your child.

Social Communication Emotional Regulation & Transactional Support (SCERTS) Parent course

This is a course that has 4 sessions over a 4 week period and runs termly. It is for parents of children with a diagnosis of autism, who have been referred to LCIS.  Other parents have told us that it was useful to attend EPAtS training before coming on a SCERTS course. The course provides information for parents about autism using the SCERTS model. This model focuses on supporting children in three areas which best support children with autism and their families and have the most positive outcomes. The three areas of SCERTS are Social Communication, Emotional Regulation & Transactional Support and these areas are all explored with parents, and with their child in mind, during the course. 

Places on this parenting course are allocated following referral to LCIS following an Early Notification. For further information about SCERTS follow this link.

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones is a parenting course for parents of children with additional needs and disabilities including parents of children with ASD. It is for parents of children aged 0 to 12 years old.

You can find out more and book your place by following this link stepping-stones

Parent Befriending Service

A bespoke parenting befriending service for parents / carers of children and young people aged 0-16 year who need a space to talk and think through the ways that they are coping in the circumstances and practical suggestions to manage challenges such as their young person’s behaviour, anxiety and worries, family relationship challenges and a young person’s screen time.

If you would like to refer a family for the parenting befriending offer or would like to access the offer yourself, please email or you can contact your local children’s centre.

Parent Support Groups

Let Us Communicate

A support group for parents of children with social communication difficulties. A place for you to turn negatives into positives.

Come and join us for a friendly chat, professional advice and just to feel like you belong. We meet once a month at Edith Kerrison Nursery School and Children’s Centre. Sophia Road E16 3PB (located inside Rosetta Primary School). For Further Information.

LUC Hidden SEND Support Group

LUC Hidden SEND Support group is for parents and carers of children with ASD and other hidden disabilities. They offer 1 to 1 support and empower parents who are raising a child with hidden disabilities. Regular zoom meetings & coffee mornings are held with guest speakers. For Further Information.

Newham Parents Forum

Newham Parent Forum (NPF) is a voluntary group of parents and carers of children and young people (0-25) with special/additional needs and disabilities (SEND) living in the London Borough of Newham. We provide an opportunity for parents and carers to express their views and input into the planning and delivery of SEND services. For Further Information.

Newham Carers Network

Newham carers network provide support, advice and guidance to anyone looking after another person in their day to day life, including families with children who have additional needs. Email: Tel: 0208 519 0800

Online support and guidance

The Royal Mencap Society – Family Support Project: Strengthen, Empower & Nurture (SEN) in Newham 

This project’s online parent support group aims to connect families who live in Newham together. The closed Facebook Group shares useful information, activities and top tips for parents & caregivers of children who have special educational needs and parents & caregivers will also have opportunities to support and talk and support each other! For more information about the project and how to join the group, please email: or click on the link below:

Support services

Language Communication & Interaction Service (LCIS)

The Language, Communication and Interaction Service (LCIS) is a team of specialist teachers, speech and language therapists and SEN Early Years and School-age practitioners. They are a specialist service which works with families, children’s centres, other early year’s settings and schools to support and develop provision for children and young people aged 0 – 16 years with social communication difficulties, autism and for some with developmental language disorder. This is a local authority service which also works closely with Newham Social Care and East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) children’s services. This service is accessed via the Early Notification process. Please speak to your child’s health visitor, speech and language therapist, key person or other professional to ask about an Early Notification for your child. Children do not need a diagnosis to access this service, the service provided will depend upon the needs of your child. LCIS provide a range of services which depend on the child’s age and their level of need. The service offered may include:

  • Home based support and advice for young children and their families.
  • Support for staff at the child’s nursery setting on understanding and meeting their needs.
  • A range of specialist groups and interventions.
  • Training for parents in the form of workshops and courses.
  • Support with transition for starting primary school.

This service is accessed via an early notification

Speech and Language Therapy - Early Years

Newham Children's Speech and Language Therapy early years’ service is a specialist service for children aged 2-5 years that provides assessment, advice and support for children with a range of communication, speech and language difficulties, as well as seeing children with swallowing difficulties. Assessments, diagnosis and treatment planning are carried out by qualified speech and language therapists, supported by speech and language therapy assistants, students and bilingual co-workers. Our model of working is to assess the child, then provide advice and support for the parents/ carers to implement and practice with their child, to meet family-centred goals (goals which are set by the child, where possible, and their parents).

Video’s with tips to support children’s speech, language and communication skills

Occupational Therapy Service

The Occupational Therapy Service for Children provides advice and support to children, their family and other relevant people like teachers, where there are difficulties with their daily functional activities such as dressing, feeding themselves, riding a bike or handwriting.

The Team of Occupational therapists see a range of children, including those with developmental delay , physical disabilities, or even if children have no diagnosis, who have difficulties doing their everyday tasks to help them be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives.

Our model of working is to assess the child, then provide advice and support to work together with the child, their parents/carers, and their school to meet family-centred goals (goals which are set by the child, where possible, and their parents).

Specialist Health Visitors

Health visitors who specialise in the area of development of children 0-5 years with additional needs. They are part of the Children’s Health Service 0-19.

  • They work in partnership with families to support and empower them to meet the challenges presented by a child with additional needs.
  • Work collaboratively with professionals from health, social care and education to ensure that care is individualised, targeted and provided in a timely coordinated manner.
  • Provide information about services and benefits available both locally and nationally.
  • Provide guidance and support to the parents/carers as they navigate through the system.
  • Act as a point of contact to parents and professionals working with children who have additional needs.

Area SENCo team

In Newham our Local Authority Area SEN Co-ordinators (SENCOs) provide support to all OfSTED registered private, voluntary and independent (PVI) childcare providers, as well as the childminding sector. The Area SENCOs will support practitioners in settings to identify children aged 0-5 who have, or may have, a Special Educational Need or a Disability, provide intervention support, as well as promoting inclusive practice.

The Area SENCOs will support the setting SENCO to increase capacity and achieve improvements to meet the needs of children with SEND, enabling them to reach their full potential.

For more information re - supporting children with SEND in the Early Years


SENDIASS Newham is a statutory service designed to support children/young people with SEND (0-25) and their parent/carers, with issues relating to their special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision. Support offered is free, impartial and confidential. SENDIASS will not share parent, carer, or young person’s information with other professionals, unless they have consent or there is a safeguarding issue.

How do SENDIASS help?

  • Knowledge and advice based on SEND statutory process and duties
  • Advice around SEND Support and EHCP
  • Telephone, email and face to face advice and support.

Please be aware that SENDIASS has a self-referral system. Should you wish to make an enquiry about receiving support, please email

Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

All parents in Newham can call to discuss any concerns, get ASD specific support and advice, or be signposted by the EPS.

Schools and settings that we trade with can get ongoing support, advice for a programme or intervention to support needs (especially behaviour) at home or at school. We can also carry out a screening for ASD. In addition to these services provide training for staff and parents.

School SENCO

Every school or setting has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or SENCo. In a nursery school this will be a qualified teacher. Their role is to organise the correct support for children with additional needs within the school or other settings. The SENCo will ensure the views and wishes of parents, carers and children are recorded. They will also, with parental permission, make referrals to other professionals for assessments and additional support when it is appropriate. They are also often experienced and knowledgeable; a good person to talk to if you have any concerns about your child’s learning or development or are unsure of where to get help.

Disabled Children and Young Peoples service

The Disabled Children and Young People's Service is a specialist team supporting and safeguarding children and young people up to the age of 18 years old with disabilities and aged up to 25 if they are in education. For Further Information.


Children with autism and their families are welcome to access activities that are offered to all children in Newham. Activities for young people in Newham.

In addition to these activities there are some activities that have been specifically developed for children with autism and their families.

Swim for Families with Autism

Swimming sessions for parents/ carers and children with autism. Come along with your parents or carers to this free session organised by Families Living with Autism in Newham (FLAIN)  Telephone 020 8498 0444, 07962 409 104

Cookie's Island Autism Friendly Sessions

Sessions in the soft play area for children with autism and their families every 9am – 10:30am. Gallions Reach Shopping Park, 3, Armanda Way, Beckton, E6 7ER

Children 1-4 years £1

Children 5-11 years £3.50

Adults £1

Stratford Picture House Autism Friendly Sessions Screenings

Salway Road, London, E15 1BX, please check the website for timings

Bugs and Boots Club at Newham City Farm

A family gardening and nature club suitable for all ages and abilities. Activities include gardening, bug hunting, crafts and cooking. For more information please follow this link

National Organisations

The National Autistic Society (NAS)

The NAS is the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. They provide advice, guidance and arrange of other services for more information please click here.

Resources for Autism

Resources for Autism is a registered charity. They provide practical services for children and adults with a diagnosis of autism and for those who love and care for them. For Further Information.

You can also find advice and resources by following the links below:

Financial Help

To find out more about the range of benefits available to families with children follow the link to the National Autistic Society website NAS benefits children

Disability Living Allowance

Family Fund

Further help and support

Early help and Support for Families

Everyone needs help at some time during their lives. If you are experiencing difficulties within the family that may be impacting on your caring role, Newham Early Help is here to help. Some of the ways that we can support you is by helping you to access appropriate benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and/or Personal Independence Payments; identify appropriate services or groups via the SEND local offer or support you in caring for a child with additional needs by accessing parenting strategies that you can try at home. You will find further advice, information and guidance as to how to access support for you and your child by following the links below:

Assessment for an Education Health and Care Plan

The majority of children and young people with SEN or Disabilities will have their needs met within their local mainstream early years setting, school or college.

For a smaller proportion of children or young people with more significant needs, settings can apply for additional funding from the Local Authority or an Education Health and Care needs assessment can be requested this may lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority. This plan identified needs, provision and desired outcomes. To find out more follow this link

Starting Primary School

To find out about applying for a place in a reception class in a school please follow this link. For further information regarding provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Newham please see page 68 of the Starting Primary School Guide.

Last updated: 08/09/2022

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