Autism Lead Project
Fourth Session Update
Author: Vanessa Oldham, Leader of Outreach and Inclusion, Freemantles School
It has been another good half term for the WSLP Autism Leads. We had a fun day looking at structured teaching and how it can be used to support children through the use of independent work at a workstation, but also in general classwork and outside of the classroom. The key principles to remember in structured teaching are:
- Physical structure
- Where and when?
- How much do I need to do and when am I finished?
We also had an afternoon session around Autism and Happiness, led by Justin Price. I feel it is a really important message to remember that our ultimate outcomes are not really the academics, but to produce individuals who will have a good quality of life. For some, that means taking exams and meeting academic potential, but for others that may mean developing life skills and independence. It is important to remember that we should not judge autistic happiness by neurotypical standards, as for an autistic person, the idea of a 9 to 5 job, 2.4 kids and a white picket fence might be hellish! As Peter Vermeulen says, we are looking to help our young people be ‘autistically happy’. Really, the same fundamental principles of happiness apply to neurotypical and autistic people; we all want to feel purposeful, to have some independence, be active and to have time for our interests.
As always, more information about other upcoming training and a selection of free downloadable resources are availabe from the outreach website: www.freeoutreach.org.uk
Upcoming dates for the second half of the Spring Term:
- 15th March – Intensive Interaction @ Beaufort School (with Debbie and Pam)
- 23rd March – Network meeting @ Freemantles School