A teacher guide and tips on autism.

As part of national autism week, we have devised a short teacher guide and tips on autism. Running from the 2nd to the 8th April, ‘Autism Acceptance Week’ is promoting peer awareness of autism.

What is autism?

A brief definition is that Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability whereby individuals have difficulties in areas such as:

  • Communication
  • social interaction
  • flexible thinking
  • sensory processing

Why do teachers need to understand autism?

You may be unaware that 71% of children with autism in the UK, attend mainstream schools. Additionally, 1 in 100 of the UK population have a diagnosis of autism which equates to 700,000 people. So that means, if you are a teacher in a mainstream school, you are extremely likely to teach a pupil with autism. Figures from 2021 indicate that there are166,041 autistic pupils in schools in England, with numbers increasing year on year. (All statistics are according to the National Autistic Society).

2021 School Report

A 2021 report, which surveyed over 4,000 parents, found that 74% said their child’s school place did not fully meet their needs. In addition, only one in four parents were satisfied with SEN support. However, even more saddening was that less than half of autistic children reported that they were happy in school. In addition, seven in ten autistic children and young people said school would be better if more teachers understood autism.

Click here to read the 2021 school report in full.

What can schools and teachers do for pupils with autism?

  1. Increase awareness education by teaching staff.
  2. Consider independent learning pathways for each pupil.
  3. Be aware of how changes in class routine can be challenging for a pupil with autism.
  4. Provide access to a quiet room during break times so they feel safe.
  5. Allow extra time for them to do their work.
  6. Use autistic friendly teaching materials.
  7. Put pupils with autism in a small group if doing class group work.
  8. Utilise fine motor skill practise where possible.
  9. Adjust timings and the environment to complete exams.
  10. Remember to celebrate the positives: Albert Einstein and Anthony Hopkins are just 2 famous people with ASD.

This is a very brief and simple teacher guide and tips on autism, so why not learn more by accessing one of the many courses available. Remember to record any autism course on your CPD log and tracker which you can access.

  1. Click here to view age specific autism courses via the Autism Education Trust.