What school staff may notice

Last updated:

There is a huge variety of signs and behaviours that school staff, including teachers and learning support assistants, may notice. For example, a child may find it hard to read social clues, interact with other people and may prefer their own company. 

You may find using this section helpful in identifying needs at an early stage. 

Every child is different but there are some key things to look out for if you think Children and Young People (CYP) might have social interaction difficulties. 

  • Do they tend to avoid eye contact or only show affection on their terms?
  • Do they struggle to share, find it hard to lose games or take part in group situations without getting upset?
  • Do they seem to have extreme reactions at times? For example, getting upset by loud noises, if you run out of a particular food or they cannot do something that was planned?
  • Do they come across as rude or unfeeling? They might take over conversations, interrupt others or comment on things in a way that causes upset.
  • Are they fussy about certain things?
  • Are they quite clumsy, or do they have unusual mannerisms? For example, flapping their hands when excited or upset?
  • Do they seem to find it hard to understand what is said to them? Or struggle to remember what has been discussed?
  • Are they very literal, taking what you say at face value?
  • Do they enjoy slapstick humour but struggle to follow jokes?
  • Are they able to repeat whole sequences from games, movies or books? But find it hard to tell you about their day or describe what has happened when upset?
  • Do they have particular interests or become fixated on certain topics?
  • Can they read really well but not follow what they have read, or find it hard to create written work?
  • Are they keen to do the right thing and get very anxious?
Print entire guide

Was this page helpful?

Very poor
Neither good nor poor
Very good