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Strategies to support

General strategies and provision to support:

Child or young person does not understand or use social rules of communication.

Implement small group sessions e.g. Circle of friends.

Use social stories. Give prompts, including symbols, signing systems.

Use visual supports for routines e.g.Now (you are doing this) and Next (you are going to be doing that) boards.

Use modelling / role play.

Difficulties with language / difficulties with communication.

Use the child or young persons name first to draw their attention, followed by key word instructions e.g. Jamie, stop.

Give simple instructions (avoiding idioms).

Use literal language (avoiding sarcasm and figures of speech).

Be aware of you own body language: 70% of what we communicate is non-verbal.

Use of symbol communication such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).

Have an awareness of your tone of voice and environmental distractions.

Difficulties with imagination.

Try role play and drama, use of props (e.g. puppets), modelling and story telling.

Difficulty with social communication and developing relationships.

Plan of class groupings and opportunities to develop social understanding and inference.

Plan group work and use flexibly to promote independence from adults.

Organise small group / 1 to 1 tasks and activities, e.g. Lego based therapy.

Promote a calm learning environment.

Be clear in your communication of expectations.

Ensure staff monitor at break and lunchtime and intervene with strategies to support peer interactions, e.g. teaching of structured games.

Anxiety in busy unpredictable environments

Prepare for change of activity or routine, e.g. use of visual resources and objects of reference.

Organise small group / 1 to 1 tasks and activities.

Ensure that there is a calm learning environment.

Ensure clear communication of expectations.

Provide regular mentor support, including adults or peers.

Consider a visual timetable to be used in setting/school.

Ensure staff monitor key transition points e.g. home/school. break and lunchtime with strategies to reduce anxiety.

Sensitivity to sensory stimuli.

Provide sensory breaks and snacks.

Be aware of sensory needs and be flexible with the uniform policy when necessary.

Consider the environment e.g. noise, room temperature, visual stimuli, proximity.

Use of a sensory audit tool may be helpful.

Have a flexible approach to transitions e.g. between lessons and to and from school.

Provide access to a haven / low arousal space, if needed.

Develop a sensory profile for the individual children and young people.

Physical outbursts causing harm to others and/or to self and/or damage to property

Use a consistent approach to managing individuals with “reasonable adjustments” made.

Continue to implement strategies that are reassuring.

Offer clear guidance. Give explicit messages letting the pupil know what is expected of them.

Offer a ‘Get out with Dignity’ clause letting the pupil leave the situation.

Monitor so that you have a good understanding of the frequency and location of triggers. Use of frequency charts; STAR observation sheet; ABCC observation sheets; informal observations should be carried out. Use this information to analyse incidents, develop your understanding and plan for adjustments according.

Encourage two-way communicate with families about what might be happening at home (e.g. divorce, bereavement, illness). Share information on strategies that work/don’t work. Relay this information to staff.

Put preventative strategies in place, e.g. avoiding high arousal situations such as busy corridors.

Arrange a safe and calm area / reflection room, chosen in agreement with the child / young person.

Use de-escalation strategies in place (e.g. time out card).

Implement a risk management plan if needed. Include pro-active strategies, early interventions to reduce anxiety/harm and reactive strategies to ensure a consistent approach.

Devise and use a reintegration plan if needed. Support the pupil in returning to full time schooling.  A gradual reintegration is most effective.

Implement a clear plan of action, agreed with parents with regard to physical intervention (Schools do not need parental permission to use reasonable force on CYP).  A Risk Assessment must be in place if the CYP is causing a risk.

Following a Fixed Term Exclusion, ask for and read the Pastoral Support Plans (PSP). Ensure that strategies are implemented, and feedback given to pastoral lead.

Limited attention span compared to developmental age

Use pupil interest as a motivator and to extend engagement.

Implement regular, short breaks.

Plan for differentiation.

Use chunking and break tasks down into smaller, manageable steps.  

Consider the use of visual timetables.

Consider backward chaining – Break the overall task down into smaller steps. The adult helps the child with all but that last step with the child being taught to do the last step themselves. Once the last step is learnt, the child and adult work backwards learning other steps of the sequence until the child can do the entire task.

Use CYP’s name when giving instructions.

Ask the child to repeat back what activity they are going to do.

Consider use of timers, so they know they only have to focus for a comfortable amount of time.

Plan individualised timetables.

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 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, for example. Resources may include passports, one page profiles, a familiarisation book of photos of the new environment, 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, space and place.
  • 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, e.g. 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 as Social Stories, Comic Strip Conversations, LEGO Therapy, PIKAS and Circle of friends

Last updated 2 October 2020

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