Autism Toolbox a resource for Scottish Schools

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All staff share a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. In doing so they should take account of all aspects of wellbeing  ….. Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future. Education Scotland; Health and Wellbeing

Good health and wellbeing is central not only to effective learning but has an impact on a pupil’s life at home and outwith school. Responding to the needs of pupils with autism within the wellbeing curriculum is an essential component of successful inclusion in any setting.

Often a young person with autism requires to be supported to develop an awareness of self by recognising their strengths and needs, likes and dislikes, emotions and feelings. This can help develop their ability to manage stress and anxiety as well as increase resilience. Some pupils may also benefit from having more information and discussion around their diagnosis.

The social demands of school can be a huge challenge to pupils on the spectrum. This can affect confidence and self esteem, and can contribute to high levels of stress and anxiety. Pupils may struggle with relationships, perspectives and empathy, and issues relating to bullying.

It is important to provide meaningful experiences which develop social understanding and skills as a basis for making decisions and choices as pupils transition through school and into adulthood. Being prepared for the physical changes which occur during puberty helps young people cope and be aware that this as a time of transition everyone goes through. Learning about risks, appropriate behaviours and boundaries is necessary  and can help keep a young person safe.

By recognising the value of appropriate levels of support in areas of wellbeing, schools will be enabling pupils with autism to function in and contribute effectively to their own communities. They are also meeting their responsibility to ensure an equitable approach to supporting pupils to attain in the 4 main competencies that are central to Curriculum for Excellence, i.e. successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors and meeting the GIRFEC outcomes (safe, healthy, active, nurtured, achieving, respected, responsible and included).

Factors which will have an impact on the wellbeing of children and young people as they grow aand develop may be found in learning grid linked to Personal Transitions


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