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Essex Autism Portal

Page last updated: 09/10/2023

​​​​​​​Welcome to the Essex Autism Portal. 

The purpose of the portal is to support school/setting staff and other practitioners, to support children and young people (CYP) who are autistic or have social communication needs. The portal provides a range of advice, guidance, resources, and training opportunities that we hope you will find useful.

We value your feedback and welcome any ideas and additional resources you think may be helpful for other users. To provide feedback, submit requests for new content and to offer any other helpful contributions (e.g., links to training, services and resources), please submit by emailing

Autism Strategy Team

This portal is managed by the Autism Strategy Team (part of Essex County Council's Education SEND Strategy and Innovation Team).

  • ​Ondrea Bloom – SEND Strategy Lead - Autism

  • Alison Crumpton – Autism Training Coordinator

  • Carly Clarke – Autism Training Coordinator

If there is anything you come across that is helpful that you'd like to share let us know by email


Please note: Essex County Council cannot take responsibility for the content on the resource links provided. These are regulated by external sources not mandated by the Local Authority.

What is Autism?

Autism is a difference in the way a person experiences the world and processes information. It is not a disease, and it cannot be cured. We should stop thinking of it as something that should be cured.

Autistic people will experience differences in three key areas:

  • ​Flexible thinking, information processing and understanding.

  • Sensory processing and integration.

  • Social understanding and communication 

Visit the Autism Education Trust website for more information on how these areas of difference can affect an autistic person.

Take a look at the "What is Autism?" YouTube video.

Autism is a spectrum condition. This means that, although autistic people will be affected by the same key areas of difference, the way in which they are affected will vary.​

There are a number of conditions that are co-occurring or comorbid with autism. This means two or more conditions that often occur at the same time, or a condition that is more common in the autistic population than in other groups. Examples of conditions that co-occur with autism include:

  • ​ADHD

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Anxious Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

  • Depression

  • Downs Syndrome

  • Eating Disorders

  • Epilepsy

  • Joint Hypermobility and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Sleep Disorder

For more information about other conditions that co-occur alongside autism, visit the Autism Central​ website.