4. Social Groups
A six-week social group programme led by the Autism Communication Team has been carried out in all secondary schools in Rotherham. It is open to all children with an autism diagnosis. Most schools have continued to run the programme, delivered by a school staff member. The groups have been a successful way to provide sustainable support where the resources were lacking to support children individually.
The group explores topics such as friendship, feelings and how to relax. Feedback is collected from the young people and their parents via a follow up questionnaire. The young people have said how helpful they found the sessions and are particularly interested in looking at why people might have autism, which is something they might never have addressed before.
One Year 6 pupil had been trying to get rid of his Asperger syndrome since he found out he had it but after attending the group said he no longer wanted to.
Another Year 11 pupil, who was very able and well liked, didn’t know why he had it and found it reassuring to learn he had been born with it and that it was just part of who he was.
When asked what they had learned at the group, one young person replied: “To think about other people and listen to them” and another simply said “How to be happy.”
Download social group lesson plan outline.
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