What is ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of interlinked conditions, including Asperger syndrome, which affect a child’s social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. There is no ‘cure’ for ASD, but speech and language therapy, OT and good-quality educational support are available to help children and families.
ASD children frequently have problems using non-verbal behaviours to interact with others – for example, they have difficulty with eye contact, facial expressions, body language and gestures. They make no or only brief eye contact and ignore others.
Children with ASD tend to repeat words or phrases spoken by others (either immediately or later) without developing their own language, or in parallel to developing their language skills.
Frequently they demonstrate repetitive obsessional play and find it hard to interact with others. Children and young people with ASD often experience a range of cognitive (thinking), learning, emotional and behavioural problems.
Fiona offers one-to-one sessions and can work with pupils and parents on strategies to help pupils thrive. She uses a range of multi-sensory methods, from visual timetables to tick lists, and a consistent approach so that the pupils begin to make sound educational progress.
How does Fiona help children with ASD?
Fiona develops strategies and a learning framework tailored to individual children. She creates a safe base for the pupils in order to reduce anxiety. Fiona uses visuals so the pupil is able to predict what is happening next and to support the child’s understanding of an activity. She uses timers so that the child is aware of how long an activity will take. All planned activities are broken down into manageable chunks and are achievable.
Fiona structures her communication, which is clear and precise, for the child and always uses the child’s first name to secure their attention before giving an instruction and before moving on to the next part of the task.
She identifies and uses the pupil’s strengths and special interests to plan lessons and activities. She ensures that the expectations are realistic and achievable to encourage motivation and success.
Fiona ensures parents are involved throughout the process to help monitor progress and review targets. She is happy to liaise with the Class teacher and SENCO and other professionals to draw up behaviour and learning support plans together, which can then be used consistently across home and school.
Fiona encourages each child to see themselves as an important partner in the education process and consults with them and their parents on developments.