Autism Toolbox a resource for Scottish Schools

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Impact of Autism on Whole School Planning
IMPACT Responding to the needs of pupils 

Existing planning approaches and tools may not meet the needs of pupils with autism.

In addition to standard curricular areas, social aspects may need to be significantly expanded upon e.g. Personal & Social Development - may need to include areas such as social interaction, self awareness, independence, emotional awareness .

Likely to need extended and specific supports to access the mainstream curriculum. Tasks likely to need differentiation. Individualised visual communication supports may need to be developed based on assessment profile.

Social skills will need to be explicitly assessed and taught.

‚Äč•    Liaison with SALT may be required to support social development. Consultation with parents regarding their priorities will be important. Social skills need to be practiced in naturalistic environments.
•    CPD for school staff in these areas is likely to be needed to enable staff to understand the key issues and to develop appropriate targets and teaching activities.
Unstructured social aspects of the school day will need careful planning.

Whole school awareness is important. Non teaching staff should be aware of and involved in formulation of targets to meet needs outwith the classroom e.g. Intervals and dining hall etc. Consideration of the whole school environment from the perspective of pupils with autism will be needed to ensure empathic and supportive responses.

Transitions across the school day including coming to and leaving school will need careful planning.

•    An effective, reciprocal system for home/school communication is needed so that issues relating to identified and agreed targets arising from either environment can be monitored and acted upon.
•    Liaison with escorts and other adults involved in transporting pupils to and from school may be needed to ensure consistency for key targets. Similarly liaison with any before and after school care providers will also be beneficial.

Pupils will need support to monitor their own progress and to be actively involved in their own learning.

Pupils are likely to need time and structured support to prepare a meaningful contribution to the planning and review process. Self assessment tools may need adapted to accommodate the thinking and information processing styles of pupils with autism. Targets should be reinforced daily in the classroom environment with specific target highlighted so the pupil is aware of the focus of their efforts and that the potential to feel overwhelmed is minimised.
There is likely to be a range of professionals involved in supporting the pupil and their family. Robust systems for ongoing review involving key professionals and the family will be needed. Sufficient time will need to be allocated for staff to prepare for and to be involved in meetings. Parents may need support to be actively involved in meetings, e.g. having any paperwork in advance of the meeting and having sufficient time to express their views within the meeting and being able to bring a supportive friend or advocate with them. Continuous monitoring, review and development of targets should be a shared commitment on the part of all involved adults.

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