Congratulations to Dr Jennet Gabriel on her recent appointment to Specialist Educational Psychologist for Autism

Published Tuesday, 24 September 2019

I joined Coventry Educational Psychology Service in September 2017, initially as Lead Practitioner and now Specialist EP for Autism.

It has been an exciting time in my post - helping to launch the Revised Neurodevelopmental Pathway for Coventry to education professionals in January 2018, and since then, supporting the delivery of focused support in schools to children and young people with social communication needs, as part of the Early Intervention Team.

Feedback from parents, schools and GPs in Coventry had suggested that local health and education services for children and young people with social communication needs, had not been particularly ‘joined up’ nor ‘user-friendly’ in the past. The revised pathway is the result of a collaborative partnership between health and education professionals, with the following aims:

  • To provide a clear ‘road map’ for families and health and education professionals involved with their children, to work more closely together.
  • The pathway helps to clarify what support children may require, by building up a comprehensive picture of their strengths and needs in different contexts. Different sources of information can be shared more effectively and all views taken into account, using tools such as Dimensions and the Early Intervention Record;
  • To offer an additional layer of focused support from the Early Intervention Team to children and young people who have social communication needs, without the necessity for a diagnosis of autism;
  • With parental consent, the information gathered can contribute to subsequent diagnostic assessment if this is agreed, or be used to refer to other support services.

Further information about the pathway and related documents:

The Early Intervention Team is part of the Educational Psychology Service and consists of: 4 Complex Communication Specialist Practitioners (CCSPs): Jeanette Gallagher, Mel Hughes, Mandy Roberts and Claire Woodward), and Jennet Gabriel Specialist EP – Autism. Team members work closely together on all aspects of Early Intervention: coordinating referrals, direct work in schools and with parents, and ongoing development work to improve accessibility and effectiveness of the process.

Feedback gathered by questionnaires from parents, carers and schools on the quality of early intervention support has consistently been very positive.

A new development this Autumn will be to pilot a series of ‘family consultations’. These will be offered to families who have a child on the waiting list for a specialist autism assessment, and who have expressed concerns about their child’s educational provision. Parents will be invited to meet jointly with senior staff from the Neurodevelopmental Team (health) and SEND Support Service (education), to discuss the challenges they are facing, take away strategies to try at home and, potentially, access additional early intervention support from a Complex Communication Specialist Practitioner (CCSP).

Dr Jennet Gabriel

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