Does autism automatically need an EHCP?


Support SEND Kids
27 May 2021

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A: SenseCheck

  • 0 Yes
  • 2 No
  • 0 Other


  • 27 May 2021
  • No


    Autism affects people in different ways.

    Lots of autistic children have an EHCP.

    Lots of autistic children do not have an EHCP.

    The severity of a child’s difficulties is the key factor.

    What are some examples of children who are more likely to need an EHCP?
    • Being non-verbal, aged 4 onwards
    • Having a severe learning difficulty
    • Having dysregulated behaviours that happen often and are intense (e.g. biting, running off).
    • Having other SEND (e.g. cerebral palsy).

    This list only goes so far. There’s lots of autistic children who don’t fit any of the above list who do have an EHCP.

    Equally, if the autism has less impact on your child's life, your child may thrive in school without an EHCP. They may only need a few tweaks provided by school (e.g. social skills groups, a quiet place at social times).

    If a child doesn’t need extra support beyond what school can provide, they probably don’t need an EHCP.

    Six Top Tips to get a better idea whether your child needs an EHCP
    1. Ask professionals who know your child.

    2. Be aware that staff from support services (e.g. speech and language therapists, specialist teachers) often avoid answering the question “Does my child need an EHCP?” That’s because staff get in bother if they say “Yes” and then the child doesn’t get an EHCP.

    Some staff point you in the direction of the process rather than saying “Yes” or “No.” This is understandable as it isn’t always obvious whether a child needs an EHCP or not (that’s’ why there’s the assessment process).

    3. Tweak your questions;
    Don’t ask: “Does my child need an EHCP?”
    Do ask: “Can you give me a feel for how severe my child’s needs are compared to other children you see who have an EHCP.”
    Do ask: “Do you work with other children with similar needs who have an EHCP?”

    You might find the answer is ambiguous, for example “I think it’s all about looking at each individual and what they need.” Or, you might find the less direct question style is more helpful than asking “Does my child need an EHCP?”

    4. If support services are not involved, ask your school SENDCo.

    5. Be cautious when getting advice from those who do not have a full picture of your child (e.g. via social media).

    1. It depends the impact of the autism.
    2. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.

    Aaron King

    Aaron King
    9000 Lives SEND Consultancy

  • 27 May 2021
  • No


    No. Not automatically.

    It depends on the impact that autism has on a child.

    See longer answer for more details.

    Aaron King

    Aaron King
    9000 Lives SEND Consultancy