Reply To: ASD Social Support

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    We operate a main safe space in school but this is accessible to any child during the day and isn’t restricted to break/lunch. Each pupil has their own way of indicating they need to use this space. There are also other back up spaces, typically with Heads of Year if things become too crowded.

    It maybe worth getting advice from an OT about the sensory environment of the school in general but also during break/lunch – what are the key issues?
    Is there a system in place for queues or is it first come first served? Could those pupils that need it go 5-10 minutes early to lunch to access the environment when it is quieter? Do you have ‘sittings’ to reduce crowding at the start of lunch?

    Can clubs be run that are accessible to all but may target certain pupils, e.g. we have various clubs running at lunch throughout the week including lego club, pokemon club, Dungeons and Dragons, etc. How is this built into your staffing model e.g. do all staff run clubs? Can you offer incentives to those that run them like free lunches, etc or time in leui? Offering activities of interest allows communication to happen more naturally and is more representative of what they will experience once they leave school (people gravitate to things they enjoy and are interested in).

    It’s a very complex puzzle to solve but needs looking at holistically. What initiatives is the school running to raise overall awareness of autism to help the general population be more accommodating?

    Hope these are useful points to consider.