As a professional in the field of education or health, you will be aware of the additional support needed by children with autism or communication difficulties. You will also appreciate the potential within each child to flourish and to develop as a confident communicator and active learner.
An estimated 10% of children in the UK have long-term or persistent speech, language and communication needs – including those children specifically with autism, who may also have additional needs associated with their condition.
Whether you are a specialist practitioner or a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCO); a nursery worker or class teacher; a headteacher or other senior leader – we can help you to support the children under your care, alongside your colleagues. We can do this by working directly with you and the children in your own setting, and also through our training programmes and bespoke consultancy.
We specialise in working with children aged 2 – 11 years, providing a clear and structured focus on key aspects of communication, behaviour, and emotional development, in response to assessed needs.
We know that staff in nurseries and primary schools sometimes want help to understand how best to meet the needs of children in their setting with communication difficulties or autism, and we know that this kind of help and expertise is often difficult to access.
You may have a child with autism or another communication difficulty in your class and be unsure about the best strategies to support him/her. You may be concerned about a child’s speech and language development. You may be a professional wanting to find out more about autism, how it affects children’s development, and strategies for effective support.
Our skilled team of specialist teachers and therapists has many years of experience working with children with developmental difficulties in the pre-school and primary school years (aged 2 – 11 years). Our multidisciplinary team enables us to provide either integrated or discrete programmes of consultancy, intervention and support specific to you in your setting.
We also provide training in aspects of intervention and support for children with autism and communication difficulties.
We can offer tailored assistance to professionals working in a range of educational settings for children aged 2-11 years. Programmes include:
Educational assessments and consultations, using the SCERTS® Educational Model
Speech and Language Therapy assessments, reports and on-going support
Occupational Therapy assessments, reports and on-going support
Specialist Teacher review and support
Training courses delivered to your staff, in your setting or as delegates on courses offered to a wider audience
Our team of Specialist Teachers, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapists are experienced in delivering training to practitioners who work with children across the Early Years and within primary schools – in both specialist and mainstream settings, as well as NHS community based and other health services.
We provide a range of training courses, and are also able to deliver training bespoke to your school or organisation’s needs.
We are the Autism Education Trust (AET) Early Years Hub for Milton Keynes.
Our training workshops help you to better understand a child’s needs, and give you practical strategies to support him/her in your setting.
We work within Early Years and primary school settings to provide specialist expertise in partnership with staff, alongside the child and his/her parents or carers. Our multidisciplinary team enables us to take a holistic approach to providing relevant assessments, strategies and practical advice according to the range of needs of the child and of staff within their environment. We are also able to offer consultancy, workshops and training to embed further key principles of good practice in autism education.
We were desperately needing professional input for some of our most vulnerable and complex Early Years children but, with the current limitations of other services, we were finding it very difficult to do this. The Autism Early Support services provided by the Puzzle Centre were easy to book, happened within a quick time frame and were supportive of what we were already doing. The reports have provided clear insights and ideas for how we (and parents) can support the children more effectively. We also attended an open morning at the Puzzle Centre and, as a result, have implemented a few simple changes which are beginning to benefit all our children and not just those with communication needs.
Thomas Hickman School, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
The quality of teaching is inspirational and, therefore, children make excellent progress in their learning and development, given their stating points. They are extremely well prepared for moving on to the next stage of their education.
The very individual needs of the children are at the heart of the service provided at this centre.
Staff place a very high emphasis on ‘getting it right’ for every child from the outset.
Partnerships with parents and others are exceptional…. Exemplary links are made with other professionals, schools and early years practitioners to support children’s welfare and help children to make the best possible progress in their all-round development.
Our Autism Early Support services are based on the same, proven approaches of our specialist nursery which has received successive “outstanding” ratings from Ofsted.
Puzzle Centre has been providing high quality early intervention for young children with autism since 2001. We use a holistic approach which draws upon evidence-based good practice in autism and special education.
We use tried and tested good practice in the field of autism education and research to design bespoke programmes of support. We are able to draw upon a range of teaching and therapy techniques such as the HANEN More Than Words programme, Attention Autism, the TEACCH approach, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and Intensive Interaction.
We have embedded the SCERTS® Educational Model in all of our practice which allows us to design an individualised programme of support for the child. (Puzzle Centre is a UK national demonstration site for its use in Early Years; we also apply the framework to children aged 2 – 11 years in other settings.)