Autism is a term used to describe a neurological difference in brain development that has a marked effect on how a person develops. There are four areas of difference that are particularly important to understand and pay attention to because most children and young people on the Autistic Spectrum will have individual educational needs to be met in these areas.
The four areas are:
- Social Understanding – differences understanding social behaviour and feelings of others, which informs the development of friendships and relationships
- Sensory Processing – differences in perceiving sensory information. Hypo (low sensitivity) and Hyper (high sensitivity), touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste, vestibular inner ear (balance) and proprioceptive (body awareness).
- Interests and Information Processing – differences in perception, planning and understanding concepts, generalising, predicting, managing transitions, passions for interests and ability to absorb auditory or spoken information.
- Communication – differences understanding and expressing communication and language, with skills ranging from individuals who are highly articulate, to others who may be non-verbal. Good language skills may mask a deep level of understanding.
Autism is much more common than most people think. There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK – that’s more than 1 in 1000.
Autism Wales, is a national site for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). On the website you will find lots of information about Autistics Spectrum Disorders, service details, training opportunities and updates on the implementation of the ASD Strategic Action Plan for Wales.
The resources on this site were developed in partnership with autistic people, parents and carers and professionals. The resources are aimed at increasing the knowledge, skills, understanding of autism and practical tools for parents and carers of autistic people. All resources on the site are free.
Learning with Autism Primary School Award
Learning with Autism is a programme that has been developed by the Welsh Local Government Association to raise awareness of ASD in schools, and is open to head teachers, teachers, learning support staff, governors and other staff and all pupils throughout the school. There are many benefits to making adjustments for pupils with ASD, including decreasing challenging behaviour and increasing attainment.
As a school, we are currently in the process of completing the Learning with Autism programme. We are aiming to achieve our school’s accreditation over the coming months.
Here are books that can be read to your child to inform them further about ASD and make them more aware. We will be using these in school as part of our completion of the Learning with Autism Primary School Award.
Autism Education Trust
This website has lots of helpful information about ASD and provides support for parents. Please be aware that the site is designed for the ALN system in England, which is different to Wales.
There is also a lovely, child friendly section for children to learn more about ASD. This can also help children who may have siblings or friends that have recently been diagnosed and would like to find out more information.
Here is a link to the National Autistic Society where you can find more information and support.