Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
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This condition affects social interaction, interests, communication and behaviour. It is often apparent from quite a young age and can be diagnosed early. ASD includes Asperger syndrome.
Children with ASD may not always show an awareness of, or interest in other children. They may choose to play alone, or associate with children of a different age group to themselves. It is hard for children with ASD to read social cues which can cause difficulties in instigating or continuing conversations, or playing games. Children with ASD sometimes show an unusual level of interest in a particular topic, which they can become very knowledgeable about. Rigidity of thought, and difficulties dealing with change are also common. Some children with ASD may display unusual body movements, such as flapping hands, licking or twisting which are usually more pronounced when anxious or excited.
The prevalence of ASD is around 1 in every hundred children. Currently, significantly more boys are diagnosed than girls. ASD does present differently in girls and may be more difficult to identify.
At Waterbeach, we are experienced in supporting children with ASD. As it presents in such a unique way for every child, it is important to look carefully at the needs of the individual and tailor our provision accordingly. Examples of support offered to Autistic children include visual timetables, social stories, self-esteem groups, social skills groups. Teachers are aware that instructions need to be explicit and expectations made clear. Many of our Autistic children are able to succeed academically and enjoy school with only a low level of support.
NHS pages on Autism are here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/
The Autism Education Trust is a great resource for all things Autism. We attend AET training when possible and use their resources at school. There is lots of useful information on here for parents too: http://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk