We asked Rebecca Tranter, Lead for the Specialist Autism Support in Bath and North East Somerset to tell us a little about the Specialist Guide for Education Settings resource they have been developing. The guide has been written to implement effective autism strategies and develop a graduated approach.
As the Lead for the Specialist Autism Support Service in B&NES, AET Strategic Partner for the South West Schools Programme and Autism Lead at Fosse Way School, the message of embracing and valuing neurodiversity is a key part of my everyday life…and sometimes this involves thinking creatively about how best to share that message!
We have noticed through our work with local schools and education providers that sometimes those early strategies that can be put in place to support our autistic children and young people can be essential to ensuring they are able to feel safe and secure in their education environments and have all the tools they need to learn and thrive. With initiatives such as the B&NES Graduated Approach, this provided our service with an opportunity to provide advice on how strategies should be implemented at Universal and SEN level, whilst also raising awareness within our Local Authority of the Autism Education Trust and in particular the use of the AET Progression Framework.
The Specialist Autism Support Service has therefore written the following Specialist Guide for Education Settings, which includes reference to the four key areas of difference and the importance of recognising that each autistic child and young person is unique and will require those around them to adjust their own way of being to better meet the individual needs of the young person they are supporting. Through our work we have found it to be a common misconception that a set of strategies that may benefit one autistic person will be a ‘one size fits all’ for all students on the autism spectrum, so we are aiming to further equip education professionals by providing them with a range of perhaps new and alternative strategies to support them in developing a truly inclusive, accessible and autism-friendly learning environment.
When thinking of the best way to present these strategies, what better way is there than to incorporate the areas within the AET Progression Framework? This is such a fantastic tool that we are encouraging our local schools to explore and use to track progress in key areas such as life skills, independence and social understanding… only now they also have a range of strategies recommended by our team that they can use to support their autistic young people in these areas!
Why don’t you take a look for yourself:
And have a look at our ‘Top Ten Autism Strategies’ at the end! I hope you like our guide and enjoy an insight into the world of the Specialist Autism Support Service.
Another document has been produced by the SASS team:
This is to accompany the main Specialist Guide for Education Settings which we produced and distributed in January, however this more recent document has been written to support Early Years practitioners in implementing effective autism strategies and develop a graduated approach when working with very young children. It also includes a sample transition toolkit for children transitioning from Nursery to Primary School.