It is highly likely that all staff will have a pupil with autism in their class at some stage. With this in mind it It is important for all staff to
- Understand the individual pupil, their strengths and consider their needs.(Pupil profiles, Understanding behaviours)
- Build relationships with parents and carers (Communication)
- Engage with other agencies and staff involved with the family
- Make appropriate adjustments to teaching and learning for the pupil e.g.the way in which activities are presented and modifications to the curriculum are made, including specific consideration of the social curriculum (Personalising learning, using ICT)
- Develop an enabling environment which takes account of physical, communication and social aspects (Classroom environment and transitions through the day)
For many pupils with autism they may only require minimal levels of support in class. Others may need additional input to recognise and support their anxieties and deal with situations which can cause this – eg changes to routine. A few pupils may need a more personalized approach for part or all of the school day.
Staff may need to consider their own style of learning and teaching to provide a classroom environment which allows pupils with autism to feel safe, healthy and happy, active, nurtured, achieving,respected, responsible, and included.
Responding to the need for a social curriculum for pupils with ASD is an essential component of successful inclusion in any setting. By recognising the value of meaningful social learning, teachers will be enabling pupils with ASD to function in and contribute more effectively in their own communities, developing competencies that are central to Curriculum for Excellence, i.e. successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.