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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning



At Cotmanhay Junior School, we create an autism-friendly environment. We recognise that each child with autism or traits of autism (either diagnosed or not diagnosed) is unique and we value what autism brings to our community and wider society.


Pupils with autism may have overlapping areas of need in addition to communication and interaction difficulties, for example, physical and sensory needs, or emotional needs.


Common areas of difficulty for children with autism or traits of autism include:

  • Social understanding and communication.
  • Flexibility, information processing, and understanding.
  • Sensory processing and sensory integration.




Our staff are trained in ‘Making Sense of Autism’ from the Autism Education Trust. Our Autism Advocate in school is Heather Lane.  



If you want your child to be assessed for autism, please contact the school SENDCO, Hannah Pearson. We will then make an appointment to discuss this together. We may refer to the Neurodevelopmental Pathway of Derbyshire’s Single Point of Access following a discussion. The assessment pathway usually takes more than a year.



Websites that offer information and support about autism include:

Derbyshire NeuroHubs can offer support for families impacted by neurodiversity. See details on the document below.

Why Autism is a Difference, not a Deficit

This video from the Autism Education Trust explains Why Autism is a Difference not a Deficit. While there may be some shared characteristics, every autistic person is unique, with their own strengths, differences and needs. We champion a world where being different is something to be celebrated and where all autistic learners experience a positive education that supports their wellbeing.