Supporting Learners and Families

Each learner and their family are unique and supporting the development of positive relationships between practitioners and the family is critically important to provide effective support.  Parents, carers and learners each have different experiences of the journey through the diagnostic pathway and reactions to diagnosis vary from distress and disbelief to relief and positive feelings that they now better understand how autism affects them and their family. Effective support for autistic learners and families will require an awareness and understanding of autism and inclusive practice across the school community.


Getting It Right for Every Child is the national approach which supports learners and families by making sure children and young people can receive the right help, at the right time, from the right people. The aim is to help them to grow up feeling loved, safe and respected so that they can realise their full potential. It is highly likely that all staff will have an autistic learner in their class at some stage or will be in contact with autistic learners within their school community. This could be a member of support services such as school administrators, facilities/janitorial staff, catering. 

The Scottish Government support and fund a number of services which provide information and advice for families, learners – including autistic learners, practitioners and local authorities.

Enquire provides a free and independent and impartial advice for those who are caring for or working with children and young people with additional support needs.

Select here to access the Enquire website.

Further Professional Development

Select here to access the Professional Reflection and Planning Tool on this section.

Further resources can be found within the Professional Development section of the Toolbox.

The National Autism Implementation Team (NAIT) has created ‘A map of parent supports’: Education Resources | ThirdSpace