Can you help me write some good outcomes for my autistic son?

I've just had a transfer review for my son who is in year 5. The school had document they shared with us "Educational Evidence for EHCP Transfer review". One section was Outcomes, where they had listed four. However, all the outcomes were focussed for the end of year 6, so pretty short term. Should they be longer term?

The school said we can add some of our own, but I'm struggling to work out what sort of things are appropriate. Are you able to give me some examples of some good outcomes? (which will get me thinking along the right lines)

A little bit of background information - my son has high functioning autism with a lot of sensory processing difficulties. He likes to be in control and can be extremely demand avoidant. When he is overwhelmed or anxious he will either shut down, or display challenging behaviour. Academically he is about a 1-2 years behind, but this is probably due to a rocky journey through primary education rather than ability.

At the transfer review, you should be considering any existing assessment information within his statement and what, if any, further assessment information is required. The advice and information gathered during the EHC needs assessment must be set out in appendices to the EHC plan in section K. You, the school, your son (if appropriate) and professionals should be writing the outcomes together.

 Marguerit replies

  • Books SNJ recommends
  • The Autism Show
  • National Starr
  • Ruskin Mill

Marguerite answers

There must be a clear distinction between outcomes (Section E) and provision (Section F). The provision should help your son achieve an outcome.  The EHC plan should contain a range of outcomes over varying timescales, covering education, health and care as appropriate. You shouldn’t be changing the long-term outcomes every year unless your son achieves the outcome or it’s no longer appropriate.  

 You may find my article about outcomes helpful; you can find it here. Have a think about the following:

  • Is he able to transition from one activity or room easily? Will he able to transition to secondary school easily?
  • Is he able to communicate his wants and needs appropriately?
  • How are his self-help skills? Can he make a sandwich or a drink?
  • Is he able to travel independently within his community?
  • Is he able to make and maintain friends?
  • Is he able to keep himself safe?

You may find these examples as good starting point:

  • XXX will be able to understand routines and manage small changes within his learning environment.
  • XXX will be able to improve his mood and behaviour by managing his emotional regulation and resilience in line with his cognitive abilities.
  • XXXX will be able to learn in a meaningful way, where skills are learnt and/or consolidated in the context in which he will use the skills.
  • XXX will be able to share his attention and engagement in a range of short structured adult led activities.