This page will be updated weekly to add in any questions we have received and how we have answered them, any new resources we have found or have been shared with us and examples of good practice we feel would be beneficial to you all…

This Week’s Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

NEW FAQ for this week… (any previous FAQ are at the bottom of this page for your reference)
Question Answer
H is struggling big time, had a massive melt this morning and has not made it out his front door.  Any ideas?
-Contact school and arrange to gain Pupil Voice using CAT Tools
-Complete a RAG Timetable (Colouring the timetable Red, Amber, Green) and agree actions to manage those areas of the curriculum that child finds most difficult.
-Arrange de-briefing sessions during the day to check in with the child so that anxieties can be addressed
-Plan a re-inclusion with school and your CAT worker beginning with the most manageable areas of the school curriculum.  Document this plan and ensure there are clear timescales for this re-inclusion.
-Consider an Early Help Our Family Plan if there are ongoing family emotional wellbeing concerns

New resources to download…

New resources for this week for you to download and use…




Content includes:

           -Exploring some of the hard stuff

           -Strategies for coping with feelings

           -Returning to school for families with young carers

           The website contains additional content on emotional wellbeing, PPE social stories, transition and managing family health


Mental Health Foundation


The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak.  Guidance covers the following topics:

-Challenges facing Schools and Pupils

-How to Support Pupils Returning to School

-Tips for Parents and Care Givers

-How to support Your Own Mental Health as a Teacher

-Tips for School Leaders


Birmingham City Council

Coronavirus guidance and information



Free eBook: Everybody Worries by Jon Burgerman

Jon Burgerman: Everybody Worries (free eBook)

Even the bravest of the brave and the coolest of the cool worry. Worrying is normal when so much has changed.

Inspired by conversations with his parent friends who weren’t sure how to explain what is happening right now to their small children, artist and writer Jon Burgerman decided to do something to help.

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New resources for this week for you to download and use…

Social Stories:

Why do l need to wash my hands

Why do l need to wash my hands Nursery

What is a Hand Sanitising Station

What is a whole class bubble

What is a group bubble Nursery

What is Hand Gel Nursery

What are schools doing to keep us safe


FAQ – Wearing a face mask

New resources for this week for you to download and use…

BBC Bitesize Starting Primary School

Very useful information from BBC Bitesize relating to a whole range of topics including transition, building resilience and a growth mindset, practical management strategies and learning.

BBC Bitesize Starting Secondary School 

Very useful information from BBC Bitesize relating to a whole range of topics including transition, a day in the life of Year 7, friends, classwork, preparing pupils emotionally and preparing pupils practically.

BBC New Story

Lego used to explain Coronavirus Social Distancing to children

Autism Education Trust: Back to School

Information from the Autism Education Trust regarding transition back to settings.

Austism Education Trust: Back To School Free Downloadable Guidance

Find all the information and guidance you need about transition back to school and the latest changes to SEND legislation. Free Downloadable guidance.

New resources for this week for you to download and use…

Black Sheep Press provide a range of resources that can be purchased to support a range of Speech and Language needs. There are a range of resources that would be suited to Autistic learners at this time particularly

‘Talking About’ range of resources


Social Skills and Friendship

Feelings and Emotions 

Schudio TV provide a range of online CPD for teachers and specifically have produced two free courses relevant to returning Pupils with Autism to their settings

Learning Shared: The aim of the Learning Shared podcast is to shine a light on creative, inspiring ideas and effective practice that supports the holistic development of children, young people and adults – especially those with special educational needs and disabilities or any form of additional learning needs.

During episodes, we’ll be hearing from and talking with a wide range of colleagues who are doing wonderful and inspiring things to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable learners in our society. Together we’ll learn about, explore, discuss and debate interesting ideas, effective practice, developments and important issues in the realm of education, development and wellbeing.

Daisy Chain Project is a charity that provides a range of support services to children and adults affected by autism. Their resources page has collated a range of resources that are useful during the pandemic inluding visuals and a wide range of social stories.

NAS Coronavirus Response Page The NAS have provided a range of useful supporting materials for Parent and Teachers. There is additional advice including working from home, going out during the pandemic and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health.

Trauma Informed Schools Trauma informed approaches benefit the entire school community in creating an environment of psychological safety and support mental health and well being. All children benefit from environments that place a focus on relationship, regulation and inclusive practice. TISUK work to equip adults with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be emotionally available adults and create a mentally healthy culture for all members of the school community – optimising engagement in life and learning. Please see the TISUK website for more information and resources.

Click below to download our Social Stories PowerPoints

More Children Are Returning To School

Why Are We Going Back To School?

New resources for this week for you to download and use…

Recovery Curriculum

The Recovery Curriculum website is a treasure trove of resources, practical guides (such as Happiness Boxes), lectures, talks and other useful reference material to support schools and communities with the transition back to effective learning during and after the coronavirus pandemic. It is the home of the original Recovery Curriculum Think Piece written by Carpenter and Carpenter and has been supplemented with shared insights and resources from leaders, teachers and specialist practitioners throughout the UK… growing on a weekly basis. You can also participate in online communities of practice with several thousand leaders and practitioners, including one with a SEND focus.

Ambitious About Autism

Ambitious about Autism, the national charity for children and young people with autism, has put together a range of resources to support autistic people and their families following COVID-19.

Here you will finds lots of tips and advice around mental wellbeing, health and education, as well as downloadable resources such as checklists and planners.

Sue Larkey 

Sue has produced a range of very useful podcast information including Covid: Episode 73: Top Tips for Social Skills & Return to School Post Lock Down and a whole range of Tip Sheets including a specific Tip Sheet for Translation.

Elsa Support

ELSA Support have produced a range of useful Free Resources. Their Coronavirus support provides free resources for teaching staff and parents to help children cope with the current viral outbreak.

Autism West Midlands 

Autism West Midlands provides a wide variety of support for Parents, Pupils and Schools. There are very useful free downloadable resources on a wide range of subjects some of which would be particularly relevant to Covid and young people returning to education such as Managing Anxiety and Stress, Transition and Change etc.

Autism West Midlands also provides a specific Covid Response Page which will shortly also have additional information regarding returning young people to educational settings

Click to download a video of Chris Brunt Reassuring Pupils!

Chris Brunt from West Bromwich Albion Football Club reassuring pupils about taking the Covid Test which he has to do himself twice weekly. Thanks Chris!!

New resources for this week for you to download and use…

Updated Government Guidance about Wider School Re-Opening: Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening. Updated 18 June 2020

A Blog by Karen Guldberg from the University of Birmingham regarding Autism and Anxiety Management.

ACER (The Autism Centre for Education and Research) website: useful supporting videos for parents, adults and students.

The Singing SENCo: YouTube Videos to support transition of all sorts

Princethorpe Junior School Posters: A range of posters used in school to support the school’s response to Covid 19. Language is supported by visual symbols.

Holy Cross RC Primary Sample Return to School PowerPoint used in an Online Platform meeting between staff and families

Abbey RC Primary School: Example of a School Virtual Tour

Social Stories:

New resources for this week for you to download and use…

Tools for Teachers Covid-19 Edition


Previous Frequently Asked Questions & Answers…



We are considering face covering policy, and seeking guidance on how best to minimise impact on our autistic pupil/s whist also keeping everyone safe? The below document was created using the most recent Government guidance, correct as of 4.9.2020.

It includes guidance and advice on supporting the use of face coverings: FAQ – Wearing a face mask

What if l am concerned about a child’s unwillingness to wipe their nose and they are mouthing everything when anxious?
Supported by CAT, schools might provide a developmentally appropriate Social Story, used alongside a range of sensory oral motor equipment to provide a replacement behaviour. Birmingham school staff should also contact the Birmingham Occupational Therapy Help Line 0121 683 2325 for additional advice for those children registered with a Birmingham GP.
Additionally: Government Guidance Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) Updated 16 June 2020
‘If non-symptomatic children present behaviours which may increase the risk of droplet transmission (such as biting, licking, kissing or spitting) or require care that cannot be provided without close hands-on contact, they should continue to receive care in the same way, including any existing routine use of PPE. In these circumstances, to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, no additional PPE is necessary as these are non-symptomatic children in a non-healthcare setting and so the risk of viral transmission is very low. However, additional space and frequent cleaning of surfaces, objects and toys will be required. Cleaning arrangements should be increased in all settings, with a specific focus on surfaces which are touched a lot.’
What if we have a child who does not understand social distance and keeps coming too close or giving us hugs?
Parents and schools in the Early Years might consider giving a soft toy to the child so that it can be held so the child feels secure. CAT can support staff and parents with games and other visual strategies to support ‘social distancing’ and spatial awareness. Parents could contact Birmingham Occupational Therapy Support Line 0121 683 2325 for those children registered with a Birmingham GP, to discuss additional sensory strategies relating to compression which may also help
Additionally: Government Guidance
Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) Updated 16 June 2020
Young children and children with special educational needs may not be able to understand the need for social distancing and may also seek close interaction with their peers or adults to provide reassurance at a period of disruption to their routines. It is imperative that education, childcare and children’s social care settings conduct risk assessments around managing groups of children within the setting. This should include limiting the number of children in each group and reducing this to provide more space in each classroom or learning area. As far as possible, small groups of children should be supported by consistent staffing, and groups should remain as consistent as possible throughout the outbreak
My child is highly anxious about returning to school. What can I do?
Parents should make a list of concerns detailing clearly the issues for their child that are likely to be problematic during the return to school. It is important to gain the ‘voice’ of the young person and ensure that we specifically answer the questions they might have. Schools may be able to help to gain that ‘voice’ and problem solve issues identified. If not, parents should contact their CAT worker or the CAT Parent Support Line for advice.
If parents have additional concerns regarding the young person’s mental health they might contact Birmingham PAUSE (Forward Thinking Birmingham). They are currently closed due to COVID-19. However, they are offering telephone support 10am – 6pm 7 days a week by calling 0207 841 4470 for children registered with a Birmingham GP.
How will I know my child will be safe when they return to school?
Schools are in the process of conducting Risk Assessments regarding pupils returning to schools. The government has provided very specific advice and guidance regarding practical strategies and interventions that can be implemented in order to ensure that both children and their staff are as safe as they can be. If there are Autism specific differences that might cause a child to be ‘unsafe’ in school, these should be discussed with your school who may also seek advice from CAT and/or other medical professionals.