Improving learner outcomes

Autism Spectrum Disorder course

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder, which is on a spectrum that can range from exceptional abilities through to severe intellectual disability.

Learners with an autism spectrum disorder can:

  • have difficulty communicating with and relating to others
  • have restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours
  • appear distressed when routines are changed
  • be over sensitive to some sounds, movements, smells and tastes
  • show a lack of awareness or insensitivity to other peoples’ feelings

This course looks at the impact autism can have on a learner’s life. It shows how you can make your classroom and practice more inclusive for these learners and offers practical assessment ideas and intervention strategies.

On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the distinguishing features of autism spectrum disorders
  • Explain the restricted flexibility in behaviour and thinking
  • Identify potential atypical sensory responses to environment stimuli
  • Explain the purpose and process of individual education assessments
  • Carry out assessments of communication, social integration and sensory processing abilities
  • Evaluate particular behaviours and their implications for learning
  • Choose appropriate assessment tools to determine the level of adjustments required
  • Design and plan strategies to reinforce desirable behaviour
  • Devise interventions to develop communication and social skills
  • Create an action plan to practise course application skills in the classroom

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Testimonials

Feedback from our participants

Learning about the triad of impairment and the sensory issues has made me even more aware of what steps can be taken to make the classroom environment inclusive, and what part we as teaching assistants play in ensuring that kids who have SEN are engaged and motivated in the learning environment and social environment.

Teaching Assistant

I was thankful for the opportunity to attend the course. The course has opened my eyes to the world of Autism and the pressures that students who manage Autism face in their day to day lives.

Teacher

It has made us more focused on the barriers to learning and overcoming them for individual students, i.e. being even more aware of outside influences that could impact on the student that we may not have considered before.

SENCO

I will use what I have learnt to provide input when preparing plans for a child’s learning. I have much more confidence when thinking of interventions to put in place.

Teaching Assistant

Improved my knowledge of ASD, and having the conversation with the tutor gave me more insight into working and long term memory of children with ASD. I've adapted how I give instructions with some of the children.

Other

This training has highlighted some of the potential problems associated with dealing with ASD in the classroom. It has given me a deeper understanding, not only of the problems facing students with ASD, but also a useful range of strategies to help find practical solutions to help and give these students full access to the curriculum.

Teacher

The classroom buddy I introduced to child A worked really well. Although there were a few challenges initially, this was quickly resolved. Child A sat closely with her buddy who supported her to join all the singing sessions and the learning activities on the carpet.

Early Years Practitioner

As SENCO in the school, I feel I now have more knowledge to support colleagues when asked questions about pupils in their class.

SENCO

I would recommend this training to anyone who is currently working with individuals with autistic spectrum disorders. It has provided me with a lot of factual information, such as the characteristics of ASD, and the behaviours of these characteristics and their causes. I particularly enjoyed the intervention module as it provided me with a wide range of strategies and intervention packages – some of these I had never heard of and am very excited to use within my own practice!

Early Years Practitioner

Positive reinforcement of using a ‘soft voice’ especially when meeting or greeting peers has resulted in the student being able to communicate and socialise much better with his peers. Also working towards the smart targets has enabled myself and the class teaching team to focus on the behaviour that we wish to develop and to consider whether the strategies we used were working.

Special School Teacher

I am more flexible and understanding in my approach while working towards goals because I better understand the challenges and needs of the child in terms of possible learning barriers.

Learning Support Assistant (LSA)

I am looking at using some of the resources to develop some new communication aids to work with older children on the ASD spectrum and there are plans for us to look at putting on some type of support group in the school holidays for our older children.

Early Years Practitioner

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