Supporting pupils with autism

Nicola Davison
21st March 2017
Supporting pupils with autism,autism,autistic learners,learners with autism,autistic students,teaching students with autism,primary,secondary

Guidance and teaching materials to ensure learners with autism are included in the classroom

Tens of millions of people across the globe have autism, a developmental disability that affects social interaction, communication and behaviour in a variety of different ways.

Autism Awareness Day (2 April) was established by the UN with the dual purpose of raising the profile of the spectrum condition and bringing autism organisations together to collaborate on research, diagnosis and treatment.

Dedicated days, such as this one, are the perfect opportunity for you to review your approach to teaching. We’ve compiled a selection of resources to help you understand how autism can affect pupils’ learning and offer up some ideas to help you support them in the classroom.

Tips for teachers

  1. Understanding autism
    Explore the reality of life for pupils with autism in a secondary school environment from the perspective of students, parents and experts in this short video.
  2. Top tips poster
    Print and display this colourful poster, outlining a number of key strategies to support students with autism.
  3. Autism resource pack
    Use this comprehensive pack, including lesson ideas and resource lists for teachers of all age groups, to discover how autism can affect pupils’ learning and hints on how to help.
  4. Peer support workbook
    Encourage students to be a better friend to classmates with autism by working through this informative booklet, which highlights the positive aspects of the disability.
  5. Autism-friendly classrooms guide
    Including a handy guide, strategy bank and visual task cards, this resource pack contains clear advice on how to adapt your classroom to cater for the needs of all learners.

Resources for pupils

  1. Visual timetable cards for primary and secondary
    Help students with autism get organised with these cards, which can be used to support communication, language development and information processing.
  2. Circle time mood dice
    These editable dice are a great way to encourage learners with autism recognise and start talking about their own feelings, as well as understand those of others.
  3. Social story plan template
    Help prepare pupils for new experiences and prevent extreme reactions to change with this guided writing template, helping to break down typical social situations.
  4. Autism heroes presentation
    Show how autism need not be a barrier to achieving great things with this presentation, including examples of scientists, actors and sports personalities who are on the spectrum.
  5. Conversation skills lesson
    Practise some of the basic skills associated with having meaningful conversations using this lesson activity, including a fully-resourced game and assessment questions.


Why not share your autism-friendly resources with us by publishing them on TES and emailing us the links?

This post was originally published on 24 March 2016, and was refreshed on 21 March 2017.

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