Autism Lead Project
Second Session Update
Author: Vanessa Oldham, Leader of Outreach and Inclusion, Freemantles School
It has been a busy half term for those involved in the autism lead program, having completed the first two tiers of the AET program and each school completing their AET standards audit. Feedback has been positive, with some delegates learning new things and others revising and cementing previous knowledge.
The key messages across the AET trainings are:
- Be flexible and adapt
- Value strengths and allow time for interests
- Strong relationships are vital
- Develop understanding of the individual through listening to them and their family
- Try to see the world through their eyes
- Think about the social curriculum as well as the learning curriculum
- Be prepared to learn – no two pupils are the same!
For me personally, it was great to come out and visit each of the participating schools. The majority of my outreach work takes place in the south of Surrey, so it was good to get to know more about some of the Woking schools. I think the audit really highlighted that the roots of good autism practice are in good general classroom practice. Many of the autism specific strategies such as a visual timetable are good for all pupils, especially those with other additional needs.
We also had our first network meeting, in which we looked at some of the local support available for families and the common hurdles that parents encounter at home. It was lovely to have all of the autism leads together for the first time to do some group problem solving and information sharing.
Next half term we will be completing the AET program with the Tier 3 training. We will then have two sessions around Social Understanding, including Social Context, Comic Strip Conversations and Social Stories TM. Our Network meeting in December will focus on understanding the differences in approach we need for children who present with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).