Autism is a neurotype that leads to a way of thinking that is different from those
without autism in the way that information around communication, interpreting social situations and interactions is processed and understood. The way individuals with autism perceive their
environment is very different, they may be over or under reactive to sensory input which means the world can be a confusing and scary place for them. This can lead to distress and
At KTS Academy, we have a high percentage of students with autism and we are very aware
of the difficulties our students encounter on a daily basis, so we try to create the supportive, calming, neutral classroom environments which are conducive to their well-being and learning. To do
this we provide;
- Routine and structure of the day and
timetable. This aids understanding and helps to eliminate anxiety around being unsure of what is happening next, the passing of the day or what the expectations on them
- Visual structure (photos, pictures, objects or
symbols) are also used to aid understanding and eliminate anxiety around being unsure of what is happening next, passing of the day or what the expectations on them are.
- Visual structure of PECS (picture exchange
communication system) is used to aid communication skills and eliminate frustration around not being able to get needs met and to encourage social skills around understanding the need for a
- We employ an Occupational Therapist, Jill, who is a
specialist in sensory integration who designs sensory diets and plans for students who need them. Sensory resources are available to support sensory processing difficulties (weighted
resources, gym balls, jumping cushion, tactile equipment, vibrating cushions) and all staff have some understanding of the sensory difficulties many of the children face so are able to support the
students with this.
- Use of repetition and modelling of tasks is
used to promote development of skills and understanding of expectations thereby eliminating potential for frustration or anxiety.
- Environments are created which are as neutral and
calming as possible. This includes using calming colours, reducing clutter and having minimal wall displays. These things support sensory processing through providing an environment which
does not overwhelm or over stimulate. Space is incorporated into room planning where possible to allow for movement and sensory strategies when needed.
- Break out spaces or dark dens are available
to help students who need a refuge if they find it is all getting too much. These places are made available and children to allow them to step away from a situation that has become
- Intensive Interaction is used with many
students to support social skills, communication, focus and attention.