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Communication and interaction: wellbeing and learning

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.

Children and adult reading from an iPad

We have compiled a list of resources to help with:


Wellbeing

'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:

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Supporting education

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:

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:

Designing a work space for children with Autism who are easily distracted:

Think about

  • 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.

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Using special interests to motivate learning

Information about obsessions, routines and ritualised behaviours developed by The National Autistic Society:

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:

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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.

Resource

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:

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Sensory processing

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:

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