Our Autism Unit
What is autism?
For a diagnosis of Autism to be made a child or adult must display difficulties in 3 areas of development:
Difficulty with language and communication
Difficulty in social understanding and interactions
Difficulty with flexibility of thought and imagination
This is known as the ‘Triad of Impairment’.
A person with Autism can exhibit these difficulties to varying degrees and the condition can encompass a wide spectrum of difficulties. Thus they are seen as having an ‘Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)’.
Our Unit caters for 24 children with Autism in 3 classes. There is no single approach as a teaching method, instead an eclectic approach is used that encompasses a wide range of teaching methods as appropriate for the individual child, including: TEACCH; Picture Exchange Communication; Interactive Play; Team Teach and Positive Handling Strategies.
Each class maintains a planned timetable to ensure that a broad and balanced curriculum is offered to the children. The children have Individual Education Plans with objectives matched to their needs. Structure is important as it offers students security and predictability. Teaching is carried out in individual teaching sessions, small groups and some whole class time. Play and independent skills are also promoted.
Children from the Unit are included in main stream classes at appropriate times, as well and dinner and play times, to develop social interaction.
Admission is via SENA (Special Educational Needs Assessment panel).