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Autism Advisory Service Hertfordshire

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I don't feel Hertfordshire Autism Advisory Service (and is employed by the education authority and visits schools to provide advice on how best to meet children's needs in school) is all that good and it would be interesting to see if other people in Hertfordshire feel the same way. The support has been thin to say the least. They have advised not to go for a Statement and also Ed Psych meeting. It just seems odd. If you don't test for what you have, how do you move forward? The County are just brainwashed into saving money all the time.

G's needs have not been assessed recently and I also feel unsure about the help he needs that is why I feel he needs to be assessed by an Ed Psych. I now feel I have to justify this but don't have any really good answers yet apart from I need him tested. - I will justify it in the end with all the info on the chat community. It will just take time to trawl through all the posts.

I feel like a full-time researcher!


You have my deepest empathy.

I too am mired in frustration with the Herts "Specialist" service, and have been for the last 5 years.

Did you manage to resolve this at all?

Not resolved in the slightest. They are my ongoing thorn in my side.

" incident on 09/10/12, in which DS sustained a head injury due to playing alone with a ball, requiring my immediate attendance and the shortening of DS's school day. This affects DS’s education by taking time off.

As you will be aware, I am compiling evidence for Statutory Assessment. I intend to submit this email and report as part of my evidence bundle.


In the last 12 months, DS has had 3 entries in the accident book, and I have had to collect him from school once. At all times DS has been playing, and suffered injuries. He is an above average vulnerable child with all his problems as noted in the reports you will also have received from EP, OT, SALT and Autism Advisory service all dated within the last 12 months. Outside agencies have only visited DS on a few occasions, and have observed him during activities that he excels at. This affects DS’s education by failing to help him access the curriculum. This is shown by the CAF/TAF process. We were disappointed that the last TAF meeting highlighted the fact that DS has not been adequately assessed for his support needs.


At our last TAF meeting (dated 16/10/12) the following professionals had no evidence (even anecdotal) of DS : 
1. the Autism Advisory service had not seen our son since the last one. Last report dated -22/05/12
2. They had changed the SALT again and she was getting to know my son again! Last report dated -10/05/12
3. The teacher had very little to say. The LSA reported observations. Last report dated – July-12
4.The School Family Worker the Lead Professional did not attend the meeting.

5. OT discharged George but reminded us we could always contact them again when needed. This affects George’s education by him avoiding certain situations.

6. EP was asked to attend but declined, her reasons given in her letter -submitted. He does not have any documented learning difficulties although I suspect dyslexia, this affects DS’s education.


I wouldn't mind helping him catch up with a tutor if the system was working properly. However, I feel his educational needs should be met first. This affects DS’s education by him under performing according to his IQ.   It was my understanding that we would have been given evidence how DS’s transition was made from Y1 to Y2 from these professionals. Very little of the meeting was taken up on this subject. This affects DS’s education by him not being understood by whether he can access the curriculum.


Since the involvement of EP, OT, SALT and Autism Advisory services, three years ago, DS has not been assessed using standardised tests. We feel that without standardised testing, DS‘s abilities and limitations will not be fully explored, and progress cannot adequately be monitored. This affects DS’s education by him not being able to work, at the level, he can.

Therefore he would not be able to access the curriculum without additional support. I feel there really is nothing I can do, except request Statutory Assessment as it would be a Health and Safety issue because he would get hurt, as he has no sense of danger. This affects DS’s education by him taking time off from the curriculum.

However, I do feel he fits the criteria (quoting SEN CoP) as there is no evidence that sufficient progress at School Action Plus from the above specialists has helped especially in the areas of:

A) They haven't made any effort, and even if they did, it wouldn't work.  DS’s difficulties in social communication (three years delay) and social interaction (four years delay) still persist and the delays are becoming wider despite their efforts. This is the most significant indication that DS’s needs are not being met. This affects DS’s education by him not being able to learn off others as well as he could.


“B) That the pupil appears to have significant special educational needs.

 These may be:

• significant learning difficulties

• significant impairments, and/or

• significant emotional and/or behavioural difficulties”


DS has significant impairments as well as emotional difficulties and they still persist as discussed in the meetings, despite their efforts. This affects DS’s education by him not being able to learn off others as well as he could.


In the incident on 09/10/12, the accident report states that DS hit his head. However, he had a substantial graze on his back that took several days to heal. DS’s general inability to play safely has been missed by the OT and Autism Advisory professionals working with him. The EP and Autism Advisory know he has sensory needs as highlighted by the OT and can often be misunderstood by the staff. He needs extra support outside of the 20 hours LSA time, (happened outside of provided time) awarded by the school which can only be enabled, by Statutory Assessment. Despite current interventions barriers remain to DS’s education.


I want DS’s educational needs met with full time targeted support.


As you know I have not been happy with the whole situation due to my endless letters, phone calls and chats but I feel we were only looking at his academic progress which is also delayed.


 Unfortunately, I think the time has come to accept that without LA support, DS's needs will not be met."

I need you to crit what I have written, essentially shoot me down because I want to make sure we are watertight. Thank-you.

I want DS’s educational needs met with full time targeted support.

It's not a want. It's a need. Your son has educational needs. There are various acts in place which state that someone with special educational needs (SEN) and /or a disability, has the right to things like an education and has to have their needs met. To not do this is discrimination, unless it can be justified. It being justified is normally a health a safety thing.