Children and young people with autism (5 - 16 years old)

What is autism?

Autism is a spectrum condition which affects people in different ways. Like all people, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses. You can read more about autism and difficulties autistic people may have, including the two key difficulties required for a diagnosis on the National Autistic Society's What is autism? page.

You can also watch this helpful video from the National Autistic Society.

Find out more about autism, including how to get diagnosed as autistic, on the NHS autism website.

Schools and colleges

Schools and colleges can help most autistic children and young people overcome their difficulties and support them to learn. Some autistic children and young people will need more help than their school or college can usually provide and more specialist support may be needed.

Herefordshire Council maintain two specialist resource bases to support school-aged children with autism. To attend one of these bases, a child will need to have both an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and match the entry criteria, which is primarily that the child is able to access mainstream lessons with a high level of flexible support.

Primary school age: Hampton Dene Primary School, Hereford

The Language and Communication Centre at Hampton Dene Primary School offers the opportunity for children diagnosed with autism or severe speech, language and communication difficulties to achieve the very best that they can in a mainstream school environment adapted to meet their individual needs.

Secondary school age: Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School, Hereford

The Bridge Resource Base at The Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School offers specialist support for older children with autism.

Outreach support: Hampton Dene Primary School, Hereford

Hampton Dene also provide a free autism outreach provision to other local primary and secondary schools on behalf of the council. To access the service, schools should contact Hampton Dene Primary School directly.

Four additional specialist resource bases are proposed for late 2023 which will be based at Leominster Primary School, Aylestone High School (Hereford), St Weonards Primary School and Earl Mortimer College (Leominster). You can read more about the proposal's on the consultation page.

Herefordshire Autism Partnership

Herefordshire Council's Autism Partnership consulted on a new All Age Autism Strategy - you can find out more on the Herefordshire Autism Partnership page.

Read more about the government's National strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 – 2026.

Local support

  • Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire offers an opportunity for families of children and young people with SEND to come together, to share information and to provide support to each other.
  • Herefordshire and Worcestershire SENDIASS have a dedicated team of advisors offering legally-based and accessible information and advice about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They support parents, carers, children and young people with SEND and their service is impartial and confidential.
  • National Autistic Society Herefordshire Branch has various groups and activities for autistic people and their families. If you have any questions or you would like to be kept informed of news and updates about the branch please email them. Their Facebook page is National Autistic Society Herefordshire Branch.
  • Autism West Midlands are a charity in the West Midlands for people on the autism spectrum. They work across all age groups and abilities, providing direct support.
  • Brain in Hand is available in Herefordshire and is a proven support solution experienced in supporting transitions into education, higher education and into work. It is co-produced by autistic and neurodivergent people for the unique needs of autistic and neurodivergent people.
  • Herefordshire Autism Partnership brings together people from public services, support organisations, those on the autistic spectrum and their family carers. It aims to promote better understanding of the spectrum in order to improve services for people, families and carers living with autism.

National support

The following organisations can provide a range of extra support for you and your child.