Communication and Interaction

Supporting Autism and SLCN

Communication and Interaction

Next Cygnet autism awareness programme starting on Mon 19 July

The programme is for parents/carers of Devon school children aged between 7 and 18 pre or post diagnosis.

The Communication & Interaction (C&I) Team consists of highly qualified and experienced Advisory Teachers, a Speech and Language Therapist, a Pre-5 Autism Specialist and Specialist Support Assistants. We offer support, advice and guidance for children and young people where Autism and/or Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) is the primary need.

Who do we work with?

We work in partnership with educational settings from 0-25, as well as individual children and their families. Where possible this is in partnership with other agencies in education, health and social care.

What do we do?

We enable settings to provide best practice in educational provision for pupils with Autism and SLCN, including:

  • high quality teaching
  • targeted group interventions
  • individualised learning

We enable staff to meet the needs of pupils through whole-school development, consultancy and training. In collaboration with schools and other professionals, we support parents/carers through parent programmes for both Autism and Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). Direct engagement with parents/carers is always facilitated in partnership with school staff.

How do I access the service?

Early Years settings

Request for Access (RfA) formal referrals to the C&I team will continue as the Early Years engagement pathway continues to be explored with our other partners (Early Years team, Nursery Plus and Early Years Complex Needs Team).

Please see the attached EYFS Referral (Non Clinic) document.

Primary/Secondary settings

Request for Access (RfA) formal referrals to the C&I team will cease as the new service model of C&I Advisory clinics are adopted.

  • Appointments will be hosted via Microsoft TEAMs (video enabled).
  • 1 hour appointments will available at the following time slots: 9.15am, 10.45am, 12.15am, 2.15pm and 3.45pm with 1 CYP being discussed per appointment.
  • Virtual clinics will be held weekly throughout the Summer term in 4 virtual localities.
  • C&I Advisory staff will be in attendance to support where Communication & Interaction (Autism and/or Speech Language and Communication Needs) have been identified as the Primary Need requiring advice/guidance.
  • Attendance ideally will be by the best placed member of setting staff to maximise impact/outcomes of advice provided, this may include Class Teacher and/or SENDCo and/or Learning support staff

Please see the attached document for:

We will undertake a full review of this C&I advisory clinic, and Early Years access model during the Summer term 2021 including feedback from setting staff.

A further update will be provided during the Summer term, in readiness for the new academic year 2021-2022 to include any adjustments to further improve these models.


Communication & Interaction Team – Advisory Clinic model update July 2021

Thank you for your understanding during this ongoing pandemic period and the challenges presented, and a huge well done for continuing to provide a safe, engaging and enjoyable experience to your students as they returned to settings and experience the unfamiliar…..familiar. We are all hoping that the remainder of this Summer term has provided stability for everyone as settling back in and recovery phases were undertaken.

The enormous efforts and achievements by education during this period has been acknowledged widely across all agencies with the imminent summer break richly deserved for all setting based staff.

Support from the Communication and Interaction Team for school aged children (Reception onwards) continues via the newly established advisory clinic model.

Setting staff (SENCo) can book a virtual clinic session (hosted via Microsoft TEAMs, video enabled) to discuss a specific child where Communication & Interaction (Autism and/or Speech Language and Communication Needs) have been identified as the Primary Need requiring advice/guidance.

1 x CYP case per booking only.

Virtual clinics are held weekly throughout the term in 4 localities for school based staff only.

School SENCo and teacher/learning support staff are welcome to attend.

For Communication & Interaction Team support into an Early Years Setting. Please use the modified C&I EYs RfA form: Babcock LDP - Communication and Interaction in Early Years

More information to follow as a new Babcock LDP SEND referral system proposed for Sept 2021 is launched by Babcock LDP.

This will not alter this now established and effective C&I clinic model.

Please see the attached document for:

  • Full clinic model details (available dates and booking contact details)

Updates include:

  • Request for, current concerns, provision and desired outcomes of clinic engagement for CYP
  • What C&I advisory clinics are for?
  • Suggested supporting docs to best inform and facilitate clinic engagement
  • Parent/carer consent form (which must be completed and returned ahead of clinic attendance)

Our team of C&I advisory staff remain fully available for contact during this period, so please don’t hesitate to contact them should you need guidance/advice to best support your students and families.

A further update will be provided during the Autumn term, to support the new academic year 2021-2 developments, including any adjustments to further improve these models.

Our CV19 C&I webpage also contains many weekly themes and resources that may be of benefit to your setting staff and parents/carers during these very different times, whilst many CYP adjust to changing expectations and transitions back to full time education in settings.

If I can provide any further guidance/advice at this stage, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Paul Lamanna

Professional Lead for Communication & Interaction


(C&I) School Advisory Clinics Information and Consent Form

(C&I) Early Years Referral Request

Autism Education Trust - Schools Programme

Face-to-face training programmes and practical resources for practitioners and those working in mainstream and specialist schools. 

Autism Education Trust - Post 16 Programme

Face-to-face programmes and practical resourses for practitioners working in post 16 settings, including college, school sixth forms and universities.

Autism Education Trust - Early Years Programme

Face-to-face training programmes and practical resources for practitioners working in early years settings.

SLCN (Speech, Language & Communication Needs) - Training programmes

A suite of modules available face to face or virtual training programmes and practical resources for practitioners and those working in mainstream and specialist schools.

The AET is a partnership of a wide range of individuals and organisations focused on improving the education of children and young people with autism from the voluntary, public and private sectors. It also actively engages with young people, parents/carers and practitioners to inform its work.

The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations.  Working together they support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication.
Our service is based on evidence based standards and frameworks commissioned by the Communication Trust.

Autism and SLCN Training

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Communication and Interaction Team

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