Phone 01761 412198

Specialist Autism Support Service (SASS)

Bath and North East Somerset local authority have commissioned an extended and enhanced Specialist Autism Support Service (formerly known as the ASD Support Service). As part of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Education Strategy 2020 – 2023, the needs of children and young people with autism spectrum disorder and their families are a key priority so that ‘Children and young people with ASD will be able to sustain their school placements and are supported to achieve and thrive.’
The Government is also committed to publishing a National Autism Strategy and has directed Local Authorities to include children and young people in their Annual Review of Services and Support for People with Autism, which has led to the priority in B&NES to establish an Autism Strategy and Pathway across children and adults.
Within the Specialist Autism Support Service, we take account of the following themes, not only in how we support children and young people on the autism spectrum, their families and educational
settings, but also in how we work with other professionals, organisations and the wider community:
• Providing earlier support for children and young people, particularly following new diagnosis and when supporting schools to put in autism strategies, make reasonable adjustments and seek specialist advice
• Improving access to information and resources for all families in B&NES
• Increasing availability of specialist services provided by health, such as Occupational Therapy, for children and autistic young people experiencing challenges due to sensory issues and anxiety
• Developing consistency across educational settings in their ability to meet the needs of autistic children and young people
• Providing specialist support for complex cases and at points of high needs, for example to prevent placement breakdown
• Ensuring greater coordination between services to reduce duplication and make the best use of valuable but finite resources
• To develop understanding in school staff of autism and how to take a more personalised approach

• We provide advice and support with practical strategies and resources for providers, professionals and families
• We collaborate with other agencies and provide sign posting where required
• We provide transition advice and support when requested
• We offer training and continuing professional development for professionals using AET training modules (
• We offer training and continuing professional development for professionals using open or bespoke training options to include:
Universal Classroom Strategies in the Early Years/Primary, Universal Classroom Strategies for Secondary/Post 16, Understanding Girls with autism, How to Write Social Scripts, Developing Social and Friendship Skills, Managing Anxiety and Anger, Sensory Processing
• We offer training opportunities for parents and families, including:
Managing Anxiety and Anger, Anxiety in the Home, Understanding Girls with autism, Strategies in the home for younger children with autism, Strategies in the home for teenagers with autism, Social Scripts

We also deliver the following training programmes for parents, which are delivered over a number of weeks (face to face and online):
• Barnados Cygnet programme (Core) -For parents of children aged 4 -18
• Barnados Cygnet programme – Siblings
• Barnados Cygnet programme – Sex, Relationships and Puberty
• SPACE programme – For parents of very young children