Bradford Council has moved a step closer to creating a school dedicated to serving children with autism and severe communication difficulties.

The authority has announced plans for a Communication and Interaction Special School (CISS) to be opened in refurbished and adapted buildings currently used by Thorn Park School for the Deaf at Thorn Lane in Heaton, Bradford, which is set to close.

The CISS would be added to the three primary and three secondary special schools planned under the second phase of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

It would cater for 80 boys and girls aged between three and 19 and open in September 2009 in interim accommodation until Thorn Park School closes.

Kath Tunstall, strategic director for children’s services, said: “Research has found that we really need a facility like this in the district as children and young people with severe and complex communication difficulties cannot have their needs fully met in generic special schools.

“With the backing of parents, teachers, governors and experts in this field I am confident we can make this a high-quality school.”

A review carried out by Education Bradford in 2006 identified a growing number of children with severe and complex communication and interaction difficulties.

A consultation this year revealed parents, health professionals like speech and language therapists, head teachers and governors would support such children going a specialist school, rather than being at a generic special school.

Kimberley Wright, 27, a supply teacher from Greengates whose three-year-old son Maxwell has autism, enthusiastically backed the CISS proposal.

She said: “We feel that Maxwell needs specialist help – a paediatrician this week said Maxwell would benefit from specialist teaching in a specialist environment. The only way he can communicate is to nip and bite and he walks on his tip-toes. He also has no sense of danger and has had severe burns and would feel threatened in a mainstream school.

“Finding somewhere suitable is a massive challenge and I know so many parents of autistic children across Bradford that would support a school like this.”

The Council’s executive will be asked to support plans to create the new school on Tuesday. If granted, statutory notices to open the CISS will be published later this month. Members of the public will then have six weeks to have their say on the proposal.