Supporting Pupils with Autism
Autism (also known as ASD) is a lifelong developmental disorder. Difficulties that may be experienced include:
Communication and Language:
- Difficulty understanding verbal and non verbal communication
- Difficulty communicating their needs
- Limited verbal communication or no language
- Taking language literally
- Slower processing of information
- Repetitive phrases (might be phrases from films/TV) or repeats phrases back (echolalia)
- Content dominated by excessive information on topics of own interest
- Talking 'at' others rather than sharing a two-way conversation
Emotional and Social Development:
- Limited understanding of own feelings
- Difficulty recognising feelings in others
- Difficulty with turn taking or seeing things from the perspective of others
- Difficulties developing, understanding and maintaining friendships
- Limited or inappropriate peer interactions
- Withdrawn/isolated or dependent on adults
- High levels of anxiety or stress
- Negative about self
Thought, Imagination and Learning:
- Difficulties with starting/stopping/transitions
- Distressed by change
- Difficulty organising self
- Difficulty understanding cause and effect, making connections
- Limited imaginative play
- Repetitive repertoire of behaviors, interest and activities
- Difficulties with flexible thinking - e.g. inflexible adherence to routine
- Extreme reaction or overly sensitive to loud sounds such as vacuums and blenders
- May seek sensory feedback such as rocking, chewing on everything
- May resist new foods and textures
- Can be both over responsive and under responsive in different sensory systems e.g, over responsive to sound and under responsive to temperature or pain.
How do we support in school?
About 1 in 100 people have Autism. Some children may have difficulties in some aspects (see above) but won't get a diagnosis. Whether children have a diagnosis or not, we offer Autism friendly strategies across the school. These are agreed with the teacher and parents and recorded in an individual Pastoral Support Plan. (See example)
Please also see the video below we share in school so all pupils have an understanding of Autism.
How do we get a diagnosis?
A referral to the Social, Communication and Autism Multi-Professional Assessment Pathway (SCAMP) needs to be completed by a referring clinician. Schools are unable to make referrals to SCAMP.
Schools are usually asked to complete school information and school observation forms by the medical practitioner who is in handling your child's case in the first instance and the SCAMP panel also ask school to complete forms and be part of the assessment process.
National Autistic Society https://www.autism.org.uk/
Autism Education Trust https://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk/
Social Thinking https://www.socialthinking.com/