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The AET Tools for Teachers is a comprehensive collection of 44 teaching tools and practical strategies enabling teachers, education professionals and home educators to effectively support autistic children and young people aged 0 – 25.
Each tool is supported by content that describes the tool, identifies when you would use it and provides guidance for using it. Many of the tools contain examples from practice and downloadable templates that practitioners can adapt and use in their education setting.
All the tools are evidence-based and have been developed by leading autism specialists, including university researchers, teachers, autistic people and parents of autistic children.
The AET Tools for Teachers will enable education practitioners to create personalised strategies and resources that will support the pupils they work with to thrive in their setting and gain more independence.
Although not all pupils on the autism spectrum can learn to be independent in every aspect of their daily life, all learning programs should facilitate choice and control, and enable pupils to be as independent as possible.
The AET Tools for Teachers can be used with any autism intervention or programme. The content was commissioned by the Department for Education of Great Britain and developed by the Autism Education Trust, the leading autism education programme in the UK.
Flip the sections to find out more
3 tools to help you get to know the individual child or young person, create a pupil profile and share information with the team around the child.
The Pupil Profile helps you to summarise the key information that staff need to know in order to work effectively with the individual. It allows you to create a detailed assessment taken over time and signpost any additional information staff need to be aware of.
5 tools to support autistic pupils with social and communication skills.
Pupils on the autism spectrum are likely to have difficulties understanding how to interact with other people and as a result may find it hard to make and sustain meaningful friendships and relationships.
This does not mean that they do not want to socialise. Many pupils with autism are desperate to form friendships, they just need support to do this.
5 tools to help you teach social rules explicitly.
Find out how to use children’s special interests to motivate them with Power Cards. Learn about the power of Social Stories and find out how to create and use Comic Strip Conversations and Prompt Cards.
This pack also contains a set of Appropriate Voice Level Boards.
16 tools to support pupils’ emotion management.
Pupils on the autism spectrum have a narrower window of ‘optimal stress levels for learning’ because of the high levels of stress and anxiety associated with differences in processing the world around them, including problems with sensory integration.
These tools help you to improve the pupil’s ability to self-regulate in order to be able to cope with the world around them and successfully engage in learning.
10 tools to help you create structure and support transitions.
Because pupils on the autism spectrum find it hard to understand the world around them, it is often hard for them to predict what is happening next and to understand expectations. Providing structure, consistency and clear information will help.
These Timetables, Schedules, Activities and Jigs will help you provide structure for work and leisure activities and transitions.
5 tools to understand sensory profiles and offer strategies to address sensory sensitivities.
The majority of pupils on the autism spectrum will have sensory processing difficulties, and may be over or under sensitive to a range of environmental factors.
In order to work effectively with them, it is important to understand their Sensory Profile, create a Low Arousal Environment with the help of the Environment Checklist and offer strategies to support them.
“As a special school, our families and carers have found the last year very challenging in supporting our students at home. We have used the AET Tools for Teachers to help enhance and support our parents to gain skills and understand how to manage behaviour, access learning and regulate emotions. As we have returned to school, the AET Tools for Teachers have been used to support our outreach schools to support transition back to school and create a foundation and recovery for our students. It has helped us refocus on what is important for our student and given us meaningful practical resources in the classroom, with our community schools and our parents.”
Mehal Shah, Headteacher, Henry Tyndale Specialist School and College, Farnborough, UK
“I have used the Tools for Teachers frequently, whilst previously working as a Communication and Interaction Advisory Teacher in Oxfordshire. Currently, I am the Head of the Communication, Interaction and Autism Service in Guernsey and have embedded the use of the Toolkit across the whole Service in 3 Primary and Secondary Bases, and as a tool the Advisory Teachers recommend to Schools across all phases of Education.
We use the AET Training packages to give a clear and consistent message that Autism is a ‘Difference not Deficit’ and follow up with training for schools to use the visuals in the toolkit to ensure this philosophy is used throughout their practise. The AET Tools for Teachers is very easy to use and enable teachers and learning support assistants to personalise the learning environment to address the individual needs of the pupils. The colourful and attractive visuals engage the pupils and enable them to gain independence and confidence. I have seen first-hand the positive impact this has had upon the progress of pupils and how they empower professionals to confidently and empathetically support children and young people.
The guide helps professionals to understand the skills that the pupils may need help to develop and gives directions for their implementation. This means whilst support is provided for individual students teachers can also use the resources to create autism-friendly learning environments that are of benefit to all pupils.”
Jennifer Jura, Communication and Autism – Head of Service, Learning, Performance and Intervention Team, States of Guernsey, UK
We have worked closely with a number of schools and practitioners who have kindly agreed to share their tried and tested resources to create these tools. In particular, our thanks go to (in alphabetical order):
Birmingham Communication and Autism Team (CAT)
Brookvale High School
Freemantles School. Special thanks to Sue Stephens.
Green Wrythe Primary School. Special thanks to the whole team at Rainbow.
Hamsey Green Infant. Special thanks to Chris McClelland, Helen Smith, Nikki Mace and Tracy Pickering.
Helen Allison School. Special thanks to Jacqui Ashton Smith, Pauline Roland, Frances Edmonds and Joanne Neill.
Leicester Autism Outreach team
Mossbourne Community Academy. Special thanks to Sir Michael Wilshaw and Christine Evans.
Paddock School. Special thanks to Peggy Walpole and Debbie Richards.
Radlett Lodge School. Special thanks to Lynda Perry, Jo Galloway, Michelle Mobey, Jody Brown and Siobhan Reid.
St Michael’s C.E. Primary School. Special thanks to Ann Marie Grant, Rita Ward and Pippa Johnson.
Swiss Cottage School. Special thanks to Sandra Garrett.
The Puzzle Centre Special thanks to Alex Stanyer and Lesley-Ann Martin.
The Education Support Service at The National Autistic Society. Extra special thanks go to Alice Stobart.
Topcliffe Primary School
Originally compiled by Victoria Erbes. The updated version has been developed and designed by Genium and re-compiled by Alison O’Brien.