Resources to help parents, carers and families support pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Speech, Language and Communication Needs during the period of school closures.
- Explaining the current situation
- Supporting education
- Using special interests to motivate learning
- Monitoring progress and identifying areas of focus
'Know your normal', a well researched resource to support mental health and wellbeing by 'Ambitious about Autism' - designed with young people and CRAE (Centre for Research in Autism Education).
It enables people with autism to document their usual preferences and routines, so that when they are not well, their changes in behaviour can be more easily recognised:
Explaining the current situation
A wide selection of social stories to help your young person make sense of the current situation, from Furze Down School:
- Therapy (Furze Down School website)
Information for children about coronavirus from our colleagues on the Special Needs Team in Tower Hamlet:
- Coronavirus: Your questions answered (BBC website) - video by Newsround doctors answering questions from children about the Covid-19
- #COVIBOOK, Supporting and reassuring children around the world (Mindheart website) - a workbook to complete / read together with children up to 7 years which explains Covid-19. It is available on the website in many different languages.
For parents and carers with children with more profound needs who are worried about maintaining progress. A very useful resource full of supportive ideas for all ages - free download:
- Good Autism Practice Guidance (The Autism Education Trust website)
Resources to support the education of children with SEND developed by a number of charities. We will unpick it piece by piece over the coming weeks, but here is the whole collection:
- What works? (NASEN SEND Gateway website)
Designing a work space for children with Autism who are easily distracted:
- Classroom Design for Children with Autism (video on YouTube)
- Sensory processing – what can we remove/what can we add?
- Visual timetables.
- Structured ways to de-stress.
- Quiet spaces to learn.
- Ways to maintain exercise.
Using special interests to motivate learning
Information about obsessions, routines and ritualised behaviours developed by The National Autistic Society:
- Obsessions, repetitive behaviour and routines (National Autistic Society website)
Special interests are an excellent motivator for learning, so using trains, lego, animals, maps, transport maps, city-scapes, music or anything else can be powerful ways to motivate learning.
There are many resources online, many of which have been made free during the Coronavirus crisis. Some examples include:
- San Diego Zoo for kids website - amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour.
- Yellowstone National Park virtual tour (National Park Service website)
- Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover (Access Mars website)
- Indoor Activities for busy toddlers (Busy Toddler website)
- Play games and learn all about animals (Switch Zoo website)
- Play with fave show characters and learn too (PBS Kids website)
- Virtual field trop of Louvre (Louvre website)
- Virtual tour of the Great Wall of China (China Guide website)
- Virtual tour of the Great Court (British Museum website)
- Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss (Seussville website)
- London Transport Museum website
- Lesson resources (Transport for London website)
- Lesson ideas involving trains (Study.com website)
- Lesson ideas using maps (Tes website)
- Teaching resource for using maps (Share My Lesson website)
- Lesson ideas using the London Underground (Tes website)
Monitoring progress and identifying areas of focus
For children who are achieving milestones not measured by the National Curriculum.
A very detailed, evidence-based resource that details potentially achievable milestones very clearly covering the following areas:
- Communication and interaction.
- Social understanding and relationship.
- Sensory processing.
- Interests, routines and processing.
- Emotional understanding and self-awareness.
- Learning and engagement.
- Healthy living.
- Independence and community participation.
The resource is free and is accompanied by excellent information on how to use it effectively. When the Excel sheet is downloaded, click on the ‘House’ icon to access the document:
- AET Autism Progression Framework 2.0 (Autism Education Trust website)
Some children with autism find sensory processing very difficult and this can result in emotional dysregulation and subsequent loss of control. This is a very useful article from the National Autistic Society:
- Sensory processing (National Autistic Society website)