Planning and Monitoring
The principles of Curriculum for Excellence and the Getting It Right for Every Child approach place the child at the centre of all planning. Central to supporting pupils with autism is:
- Planning to support emotional and social wellbeing
- Knowledgeable staff who can provide a flexible approach, reflect on their own teaching styles and adapt to their knowledge of the pupil.
- Consistency from all staff, developing trust and reducing anxieties.
It is important that schools recognise that any adjustments made to support pupils with autism will potentially benefit all pupils.
Curriculum Level Planning and Monitoring Considerations
Intervention at all levels is managed in close collaboration with parents, allied health professionals (if there are signs that this is warranted) and others who may be able to give support either directly or indirectly. Where a collaborative plan of intervention requires to be developed, all parties involved may require to meet with parents/carers to ensure a common strategy for supporting the child. A record should be kept of any such meetings and retained with the paperwork for the Staged Process of Assessment and Intervention.
A key message highlighted through this Toolbox is that a diagnosis of autism is not the end of a journey in supporting an autistic learner, it can aid an ongoing process of support which will require planning and monitoring. The information gathered throughout the assessment process and diagnostic conclusions should support the planning for the autistic learner’s next steps. This will require monitoring due to the changes and challenges which will occur as they grow, and their curriculum develops and as both they and their peers develop. For example, the difficulties experienced in P6 may not be exactly the same in S3 – they may be harder or easier and other challenges may replace them.
Listed below are areas which help schools achieve effective planning for their autistic learners:
- Participation of autistic learners and families incorporated in planning
- Consideration of autistic learners and families incorporated in planning
- Whole staff awareness of autism and inclusive practice
- Whole staff awareness and understanding of effective planning to support autistic learners – including professional and legislative duties
- Awareness of the impact of sensory environment in social areas
- Accurate profiling which identifies strengths as well as barriers to learning
- Appropriate assessment and reporting procedures
- Forward planning for transitions – across the school and at times of personal changes
- Coordinated communication regarding pupils
- Collaborative partnership working with families and other agencies
- Effective self-evaluation of school ethos, policies and practices.
"How do we know our existing planning approaches and tools meet the needs of autistic learners and their families?"
Some areas for consideration
- School policies
- School environment e.g has planning taken account of quiet or calm areas and the need for reduced sensory stimuli?
- Curricular planning - for example:
- Are the social aspects of the curriculum appropriately accessible for autistic learners?
- Does the personal & social development include areas such as social interaction, self-awareness, independence, emotional awareness?
- Is the curriculum and pedagogy appropriately differentiated?
- Partnership working – liaison with families and allied health professionals e.g SaLT
- Time tabling – including unstructured social aspects of the school day
- Transition processes
- Review processes
- Learner participation
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