Supporting pupils with autism

Victoria Haughton
16th March 2018
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

Teaching guides, workbooks, short videos… Explore the reality of life for pupils with autism before adapting your classroom to cater for the needs of all learners with the help of these innovative ideas.

Teachers TV: Understanding Autism

Twenty-year-old John Simpson, himself on the autistic spectrum, guides us through the theory and reality of life for many ASD pupils at secondary school. As well as sharing his own story, he speaks to Autism West Midlands’ Sue Hatton about the condition, and Mike Collins from the National Autistic Society, who reveals the terms used to describe people on the spectrum. We hear from the parents of an autistic child about their day to day life, and we hear ideas from the experts about how teachers can further include ASD pupils
By Teachers TV

Autism Awareness Peer Support Pack

Power Point presentation and student workpack/activities about the positive aspects of autism and how to be a better friend to someone who has autism.

By unbrandedcow

ASD / Autism Friendly Classrooms - CPL / CPD

Part of a series of SEN sessions delivered in school to raise awareness of some of the additional needs / difficulties presented by students. This one, as the title says, focuses on Autism / Autistic Spectrum Disorder. To maintain copyright, the presentation is made available as read only powerpoint (click the 'read only' option on opening) or as a PDF. I am also available to come & deliver this as part of INSET in schools, work commitments permitting. --> For more:
By Matt Grant

Autism - An informative presentation on understanding autism for primary school children

I created this presentation to support my class in understanding a girl in our class that had autism. It was very important to me as many questions were being asked and some pupils were saying unkind things. After we went through this presentation, pupils were much more understanding and wanting to help. This 14 slide presentation is perfect for an assembly or lesson. It goes through in child-friendly language, what autism is, how people 'get' autism', what people with autism might do and why it's important to be a good friend to all kinds of different people.

If you have any questions or need any support, send me a message and I'll do anything I can to help. My resources are all English spelling.

Please do review any resources that you download - many thanks!
By landoflearning

Visual Adjective Helper Cards (Autism)

Imagine you are teaching adjectives to your class. Your class includes a student with autism or any student struggling with information overload.

How would you differentiate the task to suit this child’s needs?


1. A child with autism responds well to visuals – illustrations rather than print, which can be too overwhelming. You don’t want to cause information overload that may lead to frustration.

2. A child with autism is very literal, so make sure any instructions are simple, precise and do not cause confusion.

3. Be sure that any sequence of instructions uses simple terms. Use of colour can also help your student keep on track.

4. The task should allow for a stepped progression leading to the final written result.

5. A graphic organiser will help your student organise his writing, before attempting the final step.


• Cover; Teacher Notes
• Animal Photos x 10
• Helper Sheet Example of Use x 1
• Helper Sheets x 10
• Writing Templates
• TOU/Credits


Teacher’s Toolkit Special Education

By TeachersToolkit

Resources for pupils

Help prepare students for new experiences and demonstrate how autism isn't a barrier with these stimulating activities. From planning templates to lessons on conversational skills, there’s something to engage every student.

Dodeca Dice - Circle Time Faces and Moods

Fun and simple activity for circle time games.

- copy that face
- what is that mood..?
- what makes me....?
- what makes you...?
- what makes her...?

Create and customise your own dodeca dice from a library of 10,000 Creative Commons symbols:
By senteacherresources

Autism heroes

This is a ppt containing information on 25 well known people who are known to have a diagnosis/thought to have some traits of ASD. I put it together for Autism awareness week. I encouraged teachers to show one at the start of each lesson and have a short discussion with their class using the quotes on each slide.
You could use it to promote inference skills by asking key questions rather then reading out the ppt to them. Such as- What information do we know already about this person? What does the slide tell us? What characteristics of Autism does it tell us this person has? What do you think of this quote? What do you think the person was trying to say?
Can also be used as a display around the school.
By sunshinefrankie

Friendships - conversation skills

Teaching / rehearsing conversation skills for pupils with communication and interaction difficulties.
By rshaw1812

Task Card/board examples - lesson structure support

As an SEN English teacher who trained in an autism base, I know how challenging it can be to differentiate for the needier pupils in your group. As a result of this, I frequently use the concept of task card/board in order to help structure pupil understanding. It is a simple yet effective way to scaffold their lesson and deescalate any anxieties in relation to expectations. They can be used discretely with individuals as a handout and differentiated accordingly, used for students on differentiated timetables or even as a whole class structured PowerPoint, for lower ability groups. I have collaborated 4 of my most successful examples that can be adapted to suit the needs of any pupils you may teach. NQTs and experienced teachers alike would benefit from using similar structures in their classrooms.
By catadams

Autism Classroom Visuals, First Then and More Visuals with Communication Symbols

This is a great visual resource to support and encourage students when taking part in different activities throughout the day. It comes with a variety of different 'boards' for your preference on which to use as well as 68 symbols to accompany the resource.

The boards included come in both b/w and col option. There is a contents page included so you are aware of what you are printing in the PDF document.

Included are:
First, Then board b/w
Now, Next board b/w
First, Next, Then board b/w
Now, Next, Then board b/w
First, Then, Last board b/w
First, Then board col
Now, Next board col
First, Next, Then board col
Now, Next, Then board col
First, Then Last board col

I highly recommend cutting out and laminating the individual pieces so that they will be stronger and longer lasting. There are also brief instructions included on the first page of the PDF, however this is a quick and simple resource to put together that will work wonders with you and your students throughout the year.

This resource comes with some choice symbols, if you feel there is something that you desperately need please feel free to contact me through the 'Ask a question' tab as a request and I will try my best to add it.

Contains 16 pages.
By TeachingAutism

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