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Autism Support

“Any understanding of autism should not be approached from a position of ‘deficit’, but rather from a position of ‘difference’. Autistic people are not neuro-typical people with something missing or something extra added on. They are different. If we are serious about equality and inclusion within any area, then we must first of all understand that difference.”

Breakey, Christine (2006) The Autism Spectrum: A Guide to Good Practice

A number of our children have a diagnosis of Autism. As part of our ongoing school improvement we are working in partnership with the Communication and Autism Team (CAT). All of our staff have completed a self-evaluation tool in order to rate their current practice and understanding against a set of descriptors.

The competencies are arranged under four main topic areas/themes:

  • The Individual Pupil - How to understand and address their strengths and needs.
  • Building Relationships - with staff, parents/carers and peers.
  • Curriculum and Learning - making adjustments to the way in which activities are presented and modifying the curriculum.
  • Enabling Environments - how to create good learning environments for pupils on the autism spectrum.

The feedback from this tool informs practitioners’ professional development plans and content of any future training.

We are constantly reviewing the school environment and considering ways in which we can make it more ‘Autism friendly’.

“If we listen to what autistic people tell us about autism, then one of the first things that we learn is that even though they may describe a war, or a battle with autism, autism in itself is not the problem. Their relationship with us and the environment is.”

Breakey, Christine (2006) The Autism Spectrum: A Guide to Good Practice

We are proud that our everyday routine supports the learning of all children through the use of a variety of strategies:

The use of visual timetables.
Now and next boards prepare pupils for change.

Workstations provide opportunities for 1:1 learning of new concepts.
Workstations reduce distractions and sensory overload.

Quiet spaces allow pupils time to calm if anxious.
A calm environment in one of our quiet spaces.

Communication supported by Makaton signing.
Clear communications include using photos and symbols.

Support for parents who have a child with an Autism is provided through workshops, coffee mornings and individual support as required.

If you want support on any aspect of Autism, please speak to Sarah Shaw for advice or email the school.

Tips and Experiences

To widen this support, we would like to share experiences and tips. If you have a parenting tip that has worked well for a child with Autism or an experience that you would like to share on this page, please email it to the school.

Support can also be accessed from a number of websites, including:

  • The National Autistic Society - Providing information on autism and Asperger syndrome, and information about support and services, volunteering, campaigning, lobbying and fundraising activities in England.
  • Autism West Midlands - A local organisation providing information on autism and Asperger Syndrome and details of information and family services.
  • Supernanny - Behaviour and Discipline issues for children with Autism are addressed within the advice section of this website.
  • Good To Know - This site has a section on 'living life to the full with your autistic child'. Areas covered include: How do I know if my child has autism?; What support is there for autistic children?; Treatment programmes for autistic children?; How can I help my autistic child?; etc.
  • The Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) - Offering support and advice if your son or daughter displays challenging behaviours.
  • Sibs - Getting support for the rest of the family is also important. Sibs can help brothers and sisters to come to terms with their sibling's disability.

Useful Checklists for Sensory and Environmental Audits from the Autism Education Trust can be read below: