Autism Spectrum Disorder Support

 What is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

An Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is generally accepted as being a lifelong developmental disorder which can have a variable impact on people's lives.  It affects communication, socialisation and flexibility of thinking and behaviour.  It involves a different way of processing information and of seeing the world.  (Jordan 1999 in HMIE 2005).

Individuals may also have sensory issues, this can include being over (hyper) and under (hypo) sensitive to:

  • sounds
  • smells
  • touch
  • taste
  • visual stimulation may also feature

ASDs occur across all intellectual abilities, nationalities and cultures, but are more common in boys than girls.  The level of difficulty experienced may range from subtle problems of understanding and limited social skills to severe learning and complex communication difficulties.  ASDs can occur alone but may co-exist with other conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Anxiety Disorder, Epilepsy, etc.

What support is available within Fife?

Fife Council's Education and Learning Directorate support children and young people with autism spectrum disorders in mainstream schools, in Departments of Additional Support Needs and in Special Schools.  Which school your child attends will depend on their own needs.

The majority of children and young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder are educated at their local nursery, primary or secondary.  Schools are increasingly aware of and are skilled in supporting pupils with an ASD.  Each school has a Learning Support Teacher (LSS) who will have a knowledge of autism.  The LSS teachers can link to the ICT assessment team if it is felt that specific technology may help support a child or young person.

School staff can also get advice from their link Educational Psychologist.  Training for staff in school, teaching and non-teaching, can be delivered by  the Educational Psychologist, ASIST or by both to increase awareness of autism and introduce useful strategies.

Schools can request support and advice for a pupil from ASIST.  The team works with schools to support pupils with autism, particularly those who are presenting challenging behaviour.  The team is also increasingly involved in helping schools to build their capacity and become autism friendly environments.

There are a range of resources within Fife Council Education Service which support children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as a range of resources to support their teachers eg:

  • Use of ICT
  • Support from a Pupil Support Assistant
  • Individualised learning approaches

More information about autism can be found at the undernoted websites:

National Autistic Society

Autism Help

Autism Independent UK

If you are concerned that your child has autism or you are concerned about the support they are receiving please contact the headteacher of your child's school in the first instance.

If you require further information please contact


Alan Chalmers, Headteacher Supporting Learners' Service (West Area) 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 20 55 Contact Alan Chalmers online
By Post: Rothesay House Rothesay Place Glenrothes Fife KY7 5PQ
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