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Autism Initiatives

Autism Initiatives  provides a range of person centred autism specific services throughout the UK. The charity delivers high quality services for autistic children and adults, including education, residential , short breaks, supported living,  outreach, community resource centres, 'day' services, and social enterprises for employment training and experience.

Autism services

The services provided by Autism Initiatives are significantly different from those provided by generic learning disability and mental health services, in that our services are underpinned by a clear understanding of positive autism practice and a person centred approach to understanding the unique needs an individual may have in relation to their autism.

The difficulties that many people with autism experience within services are often due to a lack of a clear and consistent understanding of their needs and wants over multiple environments. Often there is also an over focus on ‘behaviour’ from service providers rather than an insightful analysis of the reasons for such behaviour in relation to an individual’s need to experience good autism practice.

Autism Initiatives services, with the support of clinicians within its practice support team, are able to deliver support solutions that help individuals to develop strategies in relation to managing the impact of their autism and generate positive outcomes in relation to their needs as an individual.

If you are an autistic person, a family member, or a commissioner of services we are happy to talk to you about the support that we can provide for you.

Our specialist services for children and young people include educational and outreach support, including transition from children's to adult services.

OSSME - Support for Children and Parents in Mainstream Education

Our specialist services for children and young people include specialist support in nursery/EYFS/school/college and in the home and community.

Criteria of Need

We assess to establish individual needs by observing in the child’s environment and through 1-1 meetings with the child. After discussion with professionals and family we write a report of the child’s need and make recommendations on existing provision. The needs of the child and recommendations will meet compliance criteria through discussion with OSSME’s Autism Practice and Research Lead .

Support for Children and Parents in Mainstream Education

OSSME first started as Outreach Services Supporting Mainstream Education, hence its name, however it has developed to provide a range of services around children who are in and out of school, education and support for parents.

Through personals tutorial, OSSME provides opportunities for children to develop an understanding of their strengths and self-worth.

The aim is to support a child to recognise their abilities with a therapeutic approach especially children who have many barriers to a quality of life to overcome.

Individual Support

Using our understanding of differences usually associated with autism, we listen carefully so we can assess the support needs of each person, who may also have other conditions, before making recommendations. We offer a personalised range of specialist support packages, including diagnostic explanation.

Through personals tutorial, OSSME provides opportunities for children to develop an understanding of their strengths and self-worth.

The aim is to support a child recognise their abilities with a therapeutic approach especially children who have many barriers to a quality of life to overcome.

Post diagnosis support can enhance and understanding of strategies they can use to socially interact and communicate successfully. 

For children and young adults

For teachers not sure how to help a child with autism achieve their best, we develop and model autism specialist strategies, using one-to-one sessions and observations. Outside the classroom, and for young autistic adults, we offer support in the community, help to access college, and links with work placements to develop social and work based skills.


OSSME will provide a level of training to ensure that teachers receive focused and highly effective professional development.

Teachers’ will receive training in a specialist subject of autism. Training will aim to improve understanding, communication and interaction with children and young people of the autism spectrum.

Training is also offered to parents.

Early Intervention

Early Intervention is a preventative specialist support package for a child or young person who is having difficulties at home or school, at risk of not attending school or not attending school at all.  Our Early Intervention offers structure, socialisation and help to develop skills that a child may miss out on when not in school: 

  • Outreach support provided by an ASC specialist  Mentor/Communication Coach with a high level of training and experience working therapeutically with a student who present atypical, high functioning ASC and mental health needs.
  • OSSME staff will play a highly positive role in supporting a student who is refusing/having difficulty to come into school, or excluded, back into accessing education.
  • The support back into education will value and nurture a student to identify and celebrate the differences they may be experiencing.
  • OSSME staff are highly motivated and persistent to support and advise when a student is facing difficulties accessing school. They will remain highly professional and positive, using a student’s skill set to accept learning.
  • OSSME will offer individualised input, with a flexible approach.
  • OSSME offer, alongside and individualised package, therapeutic input that can help a student’s communication, understanding, expectation and motivation to take their next educational steps.
  • OSSME will assess a student’s independent skills and provide strategies and support to the student and parent/guardian/school.

OSSME provides:

Bespoken & Intensive targeted therapeutic intervention:

Communication and Interaction (C&I) – specifically designed program to support social communication skills, theory of mind, friendship understanding and skills, relationship building, transition to next steps (careers-based ASC specific program) and emotional literacy.    

Cognition and Learning (C&L) – using a multi-sensory approach, support metacognition specifically with drills to support recall, retention and recognition.  This will be delivered in a number of ways, with specifically designed drills, games and problem-solving tasks.

Sensory/Physical  - use multi-sensory approach to supporting cognitive skills through multi-sensory dyslexia accelerated programme; use sensory circuits to support and regulate anxiety.

SEMH – strengthen areas of executive function (EF) to reduce anxiety with bespoke strategies for recognizing triggers and reducing overwhelm/re-regulating. Specific EF areas targeted with bespoke program design will be: time management, emotional regulation[1], organization[2], working memory[3], impulse control, task-initiation, planning and prioritizing, self-monitoring, and most importantly, flexible thinking[4].

[1] Cross over with programme design for emotional literacy in C&I

2 Crosses over to programme for C&L, as also relates to organisation of thought.

3 Crosses over to C&L programme that focuses on strengthening metacognitive skills.

4 Crosses over to Theory of Mind programme for C&I


What professionals say about OSSME

“OSSME takes time to get to know the child and the school before offering advice. The advice and support to implement strategies has created a better working environment for the teacher, child and family.” - St Helens Primary School Teacher  

“Excellent training, advice and support” - Headteacher

“OSSME is the best, most tailored, resource available for pupils with Autism Spectrum Conditions.” – Teacher

“[Strategies] are highly individualised – they tap into the pupil’s interest and capitalise on their strengths.” - Teacher

Peterhouse School

Peterhouse School in Southport is a non-maintained specialist school, it offers day  provision for children and young people aged 5 to 19 who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Conditions. 

“He has come a long way and improving every day.” - Parent

For more information go to

To read testimonials and case studies about Peterhouse please visit 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Karen Campbell
Contact Position
Assistant Director
Autism Initiatives

Where to go

Autism Initiatives UK (head office)
Sefton House
Bridle Road
L30 4XR

This is our central head office from where we deliver high quality autism specific services across the UK.

In the Liverpool and wider accessible area this includes:

  • Community Resource Centres Kensington, Bootle and Formby
  • A number of supported living houses
  • Award winning social enterprises including two Cafes and a Cycle Workshop
  • A Short break service
  • Specialist autism school 'Peterhouse'
  • Support for children in mainstream education
  • A parent support group
  • Transition from children to adult services

However, any model of service can be developed around individual and personalised needs.

Time / Date Details

Time of day
Session Information
Comunity Resource Centres usually open 6 days per week early morning until evening and provide services according to need either within the Centre or in the community.
Regular provision of creative activity , IT, sports, outdoor gardening , visits to places of interest. Tailored to need

Other Details


Offering Tax Free Childcare.


Referral required
Referral Details

Dependent on the service required, a formal referral is not always required , for example where families are seeking outreach or Community Resource Centre support using personal budgets.

However for more complex requirements referral is usually through the local authority social work team.  

Other notes

Our services are all autism specific and person centred.

Autism affects each person differently, which is why we have separate personal plans for each person we support. No two plans are the same.

We are able to support complex multi need individuals including transition from more secure environments to other support settings.

Local Offer

Contact Name
Karen Campbell
Contact Telephone
0151 330 9500
Contact Email
Visit our website
Find out more about our OSSME service
Local Offer Age Bands
Young Adults (16 to 25)
Primary (5 to 11)
Secondary (11 to 16)
Early Years (0 to 5)
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