A free online resource developed to support the inclusion of autistic learners in Scottish Early Learning and Childcare settings, Primary and Secondary schools.

Films and Downloads

The films and downloads listed below offer extended professional learning on a range of topics.
 

Click the subject dropdown bars to access a variety of films, animations and downloadable/online resources.

‘Well-being as the lever for successful education for students with autism’
Peter Vermeulen (Length 25.40)

This is a presentation given by Peter Vermeulen at the Autism-Europe's 12th International Congress 2019: "A New Dynamic for Change and Inclusion", held in September 2019. Vermeulen describes how for students with autism, attending school is like having a double curriculum: on top of the standard curriculum with its traditional learning outcomes, there is also a second curriculum: learning to navigate the social school world, coping with the sensory environment, surviving unpredictability and uncertainty and understanding neurotypical communication. This leaves autistic learners stressed or dropping out of school. His message is that ensuring well-being at school is the main key that gives access to education.

‘What is autism?’

This animation to explain autism is narrated by a National Autistic Society Ambassador. (Length 2.41)

‘What is autism?’    (Length 3.36)

This is a short animation by Scottish Autism explaining the nature of autism.

‘Animated Explanation of Autism’  (Length 5.31)

A popular animation by Amazing Kids Happen which explains autism to peers. Click here to watch.

A Social Story for the Rest of Us

by Carol Gray, with Dr. Siobhan Timmins

Carol Gray, the person who devised the concept of social stories, has written a social story for people who are not autistic to help them learn about people with autism.

To view the PDF go to the Resources section on the left hand side of this page.

‘Supporting a bereaved child with autism’ (Length 3:20)

This film by Child Bereavement UK stresses that, like all children, those with autism need their grief to be recognised even if it is not expressed in a recognisable way. Key ways to help that are identified are:

  • Prepare the child if a death is expected 
  • Use clear concrete language and avoid euphemisms
  • Use examples to show death is permanent
  • Help the child to express their emotions e.g. drawing, modelling clay
  • Keep memories alive
     

‘Autism and Bullying’
Connie Anderson (Length 55.19)
 

In this webinar, Connie Anderson, Ph.D., Towson University, discusses research evidence on the risk factors, solutions, and the consequences of bullying for individuals with autism. 

Click here to view. 

‘Perceived Bullying for autistic spectrum children’
Barbara Lester, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Length 12.09).
 

This film illustrates using visual supports to help learners understand that people don’t always say what they mean and help them to understand when comments are mean or friendly.
 

'What we Know (and what we don't know)    Length 15.34

In this Ted talk Wendy Chung, geneticist and paediatrician, explores what we know about the causes of autism.

‘Theory of mind’ 
Uta Frith (Length 10.55)
 

In this film in 2016 Uta Frith, the Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London, discusses what we mean by Theory of Mind (see Section on Cognitive Theories) and mentalising.

Frith describes mentalisation as a made up word to describe the ability to explain and predict what somebody is doing and why they are doing it. This is difficult for people with autism. She explains that there can be a confusion between mentalising abilities and empathy and notes that brain imaging studies have demonstrated that mentalisation relies on a different brain system to empathy. Empathy relies on contagion, ‘what you feel, I feel too’ and she explains that this system is very often intact in autistic people. It is the mentalising that is impacted.

Ask an autistic#16 ‘Is Autism a Disability?’
Amythest Schaber (Length 12.11)  

In this film an autistic adult explores the medical and social model of disability.  She challenges a ‘cure culture’ and also discusses some common misconceptions about the neurodiversity movement.

Click here to access.

‘Social Model of Disability’
(Length 1.26)

Short animation.

‘Autism Research on Making Friends and Improving Social Skills’    
Micah Mazurek, Ph.D., and Latha Soorya, Ph.D. (Length 57.28).

This film which includes a powerpoint presentation describes what we know from research about friendship and autism and then examines interventions to support social skills.

‘Autism and me: My experience as a girl with autism’ 
A young girl describes how it feels to have autism. (Length 7.58)

‘What Women With Autism Want You to Know’ 
Iris (Length 10.01) 

Autistic women talk about their feelings and experiences. There is a section on sexuality. There is an advert interruption.

‘Mental Health’ (Length 3.38)

This animation by Right-Click, Scottish Autism explores anxiety and mental health in girls and women.

‘Not Included, Not Engaged and Not Involved: A report on the experiences of 
autistic children missing school’ 2018

Children in Scotland, the National Autistic Society Scotland and Scottish Autism.

https://www.notengaged.com/download/SA-Out-Of-School-Report.pdf
https://www.notengaged.com/download/executive-summary.pdf

This report followed joint work by the above charities due to concerns that autistic children were not having their right to an education fulfilled and were potentially missing a significant and concerning amount of school.

A national survey was conducted to understand the amount of time some autistic pupils are missing from school and the reasons why this has happened, whether alternative arrangements for their education have been put in place, what support has been offered to return to school, and  importantly, what the impact on the children and young people and their families had been.

The above report ‘Not Included, not engaged, not involved’ was the result of 1,417 responses to this survey.

Reversing the cycle of educational exclusion of autistic children and young people
R. Wood (length 15.59)

This is a presentation given by Rebecca Woods at the Autism-Europe's 12th International Congress 2019: "A New Dynamic for Change and Inclusion", held in September 2019.

Wood found in her research in England that much of the support for learners was over-controlling. 
She found that when autistic children were subject to repetitive and highly-prompted activities, their engagement, learning and wellbeing was poor.

By contrast, when they could access their intense interests a range of inclusionary benefits were achieved, with few drawbacks. The advantages included better access to the curriculum and assessment, improved communication and socialisation, greater independence, satisfaction and task completion, as well as positive future plans. A reduction in prompting and greater self-efficacy on the part of school staff was also found.

Wood concludes how important it is that school staff adapt school curricula to support the diversity of learners.

In Scotland this would be described as personalised learning as this includes building a curriculum which is responsive to the learner’s needs and interests.

‘My brother Luke’ (Length 7.39) 

Hannah, whose brother Luke has autism, reads a story she wrote about her brother. She is interviewed about her experience as a sibling and acknowledges both the difficulties and the rewards.

This short film describes Dunn's model of sensory processing

(Length 1.48)

The series of films below illustrate the Fife approach to symbolisation.

Film 1 ‘Why use symbols?’   (Length 10.33)

The Principal teacher at Fife Assessment centre for communication through technology
discusses a fife-wide project to introduce symbolisation in schools. 
At 1m15s a discussion of symbols begins. She emphasises the problem when symbolisation is only carried out for an individual learner. The move to a general approach is described; a move which brought benefits across a range of children and situations. These benefits included lower anxiety, increased comprehension and independence and support for organisational skills.
The school process for implementation is described.

 

Film 2 Bronze award: Environmental labelling  (Length 7.57)
This film shows the basic level of symbolisation and provides a range of examples.

 

Film 3 Silver Award: Extending use of Symbols (Length 5.43)

This films illustrates the use of symbolisation in the curriculum (e.g. writing checklists) and in the application to aspects of school life such as choice making (e.g. lunches) and emotional regulation.
 

Film 4 Gold Award: Advanced use of Symbols   (Length 3.08)
This film looks at more advanced usage such as use in meetings or as part of becoming an eco school etc.

‘Well-being as the lever for successful education for students with autism’
Peter Vermeulen (Length 25.40)

This is a presentation given by Peter Vermeulen at the Autism-Europe's 12th International Congress 2019: "A New Dynamic for Change and Inclusion", held in September 2019. Vermeulen describes how for students with autism, attending school is like having a double curriculum: on top of the standard curriculum with its traditional learning outcomes, there is also a second curriculum: learning to navigate the social school world, coping with the sensory environment, surviving unpredictability and uncertainty and understanding neurotypical communication. This leaves autistic learners stressed or dropping out of school. His message is that ensuring well-being at school is the main key that gives access to education.

‘Mental Health’ (Length 3.38)
This animation by Right-Click, Scottish Autism explores anxiety and mental health in girls and women.