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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Supporting learners with autism - some advice, please

(13 Posts)
WorldFamous Fri 19-Oct-12 14:57:08

I am soon to start working in a primary school supporting the learning of a little boy with autism. My teacher training in SEN was good but very general, and I feel I need more specific advice and information. The school will give me some training (I hope!) but I think I'll be expected to inform myself to a large extent.

I've already been on the National Autistic Society website and looked at their section on supporting learning. I'd be grateful for information on any other website, books or published articles, etc, from parents of children with autism, or from anyone working in the area of SEN.

Just off to do the school run so apologies if I don't reply for a while. TIA for all your help.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 19-Oct-12 15:35:14

Could go on forever, but am just going away for the weekend. How old is the child, what is their language like? This resource is fantastic.

Read up all you can, but remember that every child with ASD is very different from every other child with ASD, so most of what you do will depend on the child. Children can find it difficult to transfer knowledge from different situations so you may need to remember to teach behaviour/language etc in each situation. Keep your language very simple, don't be surprised if expressive language is a lot better than receptive. They can fool you into believing they understand a lot more than they do. Same with reading, decoding may be much better than comprehension. They may understand things very literally and not pick up on idioms. Say things in the order in which they will happen, ie 'first coat, then playtime,' not 'it's going to be playtime soon, let's get your coat on and you can go outside!' etc. Visual timetables may help. They may need to be as simple as now and next only, depends on the child. Vertical timetable is easier to interpret than horizontal.

This is for a young child with poor language.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 19-Oct-12 15:53:15

NAS isn't about education. The organisation you want is Ambitious About Autism, and enrol yourself on a few of their courses.


StarlightMcKenzie Fri 19-Oct-12 15:54:49

And you need to think about what the word 'inclusion' means to you as this will have the most significant impact on the child.

zzzzz Fri 19-Oct-12 16:20:44

Your very best resource is the child's parent.

Be ambitious.

Take your inspiration from Temple Grandin, or Kamran Nazeer.

Do not expect any informed input from teaching staff. You might be lucky, but you might be surprised how little help there is.

Never ever mistake poor behaviour for nastiness.

Find a reward that works and use it. This can be as simple as drawing a happy face in the margin.

Repeat. Explain. Model. Reinforce.

Don't be surprised if you seem to make little or no headway and then do a jump.

You can change this child's life.

Whistlingwaves Fri 19-Oct-12 16:28:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whistlingwaves Fri 19-Oct-12 16:32:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whistlingwaves Fri 19-Oct-12 16:33:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moosemama Fri 19-Oct-12 16:38:41

Have a look at the Autism Education Trust's programme here and here and perhaps see if the school would be willing to put you through it. It's really cheap and would give you a good foundation.

It's also worth contacting your LA's ASD inclusion team, as very often they offer teacher/TA training at no or little cost to the school.

I'm not sure how old the child and what his difficulties are, but I have just bought this book to give to my ds's school. It is simply written, clear and easy to navigate to find help for specific problems.

I have also heard good things about this book for gaining some insight into what it feels like for someone on the Autism Spectrum at school.

TheLightPassenger Fri 19-Oct-12 17:16:38

I think it would be worth you looking into Semantic Pragmatic Disorder, which is v closely related to Autism, if not regarded as virtually the same these days - to find out more about more subtle language problems - just because a child can speak fluently in sentences doesn't mean they are fine from language and social POV

Some useful info

TheLightPassenger Fri 19-Oct-12 17:17:19

and yes, absolutely, take the parents' information and views v seriously.

Ineedalife Fri 19-Oct-12 18:33:12

Agree that you need to listen to the parents.

Be persistant.

choose your battles

Building up a trusting relationship will help you to teach new skills.

Reward even tiny steps forward,

Ask to be trained in autism specific techniques.

I could go on all night

Good lucksmile

WorldFamous Fri 19-Oct-12 19:39:55

Thanks for all this information, it's very useful and exactly what I was hoping for. I have worked previously with a Year 1/2 boy with autism and Year 6 boy with Aspergers and, yes EllenJane, they were massively different experiences.

I have yet to meet the little boy so don't yet know what his language is like. I understand he is Yr 1, so 5/6 years old. I will meet him next week, I hope.

Will look at the websites mentioned above over the weekend, and also get an overview of the courses that are available out there.

Again, thanks all, this is really helpful.

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