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Strategies to support social communication needs and autistic children and young people

General strategies and provision to support from the OAIP:

In addition to the strategies above which are described within the Ordinarily Available Inclusive Practice (OAIP)guide children and young people may benefit from:

  • Flexible teaching arrangements
  • Help in acquiring, comprehending and using language
  • Help in acquiring literacy skills
  • Alternative means of communication
  • Support in using different means of communication confidently for a range of purposes
  • Support in organising and coordinating oral and written language
  • Withdrawal facilities provided for times of anxiety and sensory overload
  • Opportunities for the development of social interaction and communication skills
  • Staff to monitor child or young person during break times and lunchtimes and have strategies in place to reduce anxiety during unstructured times
  • Staff to provide support at break and lunchtimes to develop play skills and social interaction skills
  • Curricular language will benefit from ‘scaffolding’ and pre-learning approaches
  • Additional access to I.T. may be necessary
  • Child or young person may need considerable preparation for changes in routine. This includes arrangements for staff cover
  • Provision map targets will be addressed through individual, small group and class work within the curriculum framework
  • Use transition support from one school/teacher to another. Resources may include passports, one page profiles, a familiarisation book of photos of the new environment or a file of coping strategies/equipment and social scripts
  • Structured programmes of work may need to be clearly set out via a visual timetable or Now and Next approach
  • There should be consistency within the classroom organisation, structure, routines and space
  • The child or young person may need access to a workstation to reduce distractions and enable them to focus on the set task or activity
  • Equipment for Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC) may be needed, for example, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) (direct adult input and support will be necessary in early stages), and/or signing
  • Consideration may need to be given to the physical environment
  • Strategies may be used to promote social success/social understanding. These include Social Stories, Comic Strip Conversations, LEGO Therapy, PIKAS and Circle of Friends.