A number of our pupils have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The majority of these pupils are taught in classrooms organised according to the principles of TEACCH. These classrooms provide a highly structured learning environment and are divided into clear areas, for example, teaching table, (independent) workstation, group time and messy area. Screens are used to separate these areas where necessary. As individuals with autism are easily distracted, rooms are kept organised and tidy so pupils are able to concentrate.
Visual Timetables and Other Visual Support Materials
Autistic individuals are often highly visual learners and have receptive language difficulties so our Autistic pupils use a visual timetable. This informs each pupil of the area they need to go to and reduces anxiety about not knowing what happens next. It also aids each pupil with independent transition. If necessary, pupils are physically and silently prompted to check their timetable. Visual timetables or ‘jigs’ are also used to structure activities such as dressing, hand washing and preparing a sandwich to help pupils work as independently as possible.
Social stories are short factual descriptions of a particular situation, event or activity and include specific information about what to expect in that situation and why. We use social stories to help children learn new skills, understand social situations or cope with changes or unexpected events.