Coping with feelings

11th July 2003 at 01:00
John Clark looks at examples of Glasgow's expanding provision for children with autism, which some say is still lacking

The communications disorder unit at St Vincent's Primary, Carnwadric, has 22 pupils. It is a bright, colourful, friendly place, with classes of no more than six pupils.

The staff consists of a unit co-ordinator, five teachers, five special educational needs auxiliaries, a speech and language therapist and a therapy assistant.

Isobel McAlister, the unit co-ordinator, said: "Many of our children are identified in nursery school as having some sort of difficulty with communication or some sort of impairment socially." They follow an enhanced version of the 5-14 curriculum. Each child also has an independent education programme - in which parents are closely involved - charting progress in areas such as social awareness, play and self-help.

Staff teach simple strategies to identify feelings such as anger and frustration - and how to cope.

Ms McAlister said: "I would consider it a success if we can help a child to access his life, to make friends and maximise his social potential. Autism doesn't ever go away; it just changes."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today