The Small STEPS (Specialist Team for Early Intervention and Portage Support) team work with the Educational Psychology (EP) team to offer outreach support for adults supporting children with significant additional or special learning needs. Whilst most of their work is with pre school children (under 5s) who have complex needs, significant learning delays or social communication difficulties (including autism), the team support across the primary age range.
Principles central to Small STEPS work include:
partnership with parents and carers;
promoting inclusion in all aspects of life;
actively developing links with others who can help and support;
encouraging families and staff to gain confidence, to celebrate small steps and giant leaps, to share ideas, to support each other and actively developing links with others who can help and support.
Small STEPS support typically begins with home or setting visits to address priorities for learning or problem solving; play plans, activities or strategies will be developed with the supporting adults, incorporating targets set by EPs and, where appropriate, other professionals. Work is supervised by and reviewed regularly with the referring EP. Over time, support is offered through structured groups for children and adults, training workshops, family activities, adult support groups or telephone contact, allowing contact to be maintained for longer whilst alternative support networks/contacts are identified.