Early years practitioners’ knowledge of early signs of autism in England

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This research explores early years practitioners’ knowledge and ability to recognise the signs of autism and provide appropriate support. It was carried out using semi-structured interviews with six UK-based early years practitioners who have worked with children with autism. The findings highlighted that early years practitioners are aware of autism but have a limited understanding of the early signs of the condition. Furthermore, there are inconsistencies in training and collaboration in early years settings. All these factors influence whether the practitioners are able to recognise the early signs of autism and provide appropriate support. This study highlights the need to address the issue of training provided to early years practitioners.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages12
JournalSupport for Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2020


  • autism, early years practitioner, perceptions, training, Collaboration, collaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas