Supply teachers and TAs find it very difficult to work with autistic pupils, this is for several reasons: they have not been trained, they do not know the students, they do not know what to expect, they do not know the school and many of them have never worked with autistic people before. Understanding the main difficulties that the children and themselves will face will help them feel more confident when they get a temporary job working with autistic students.
With the new changes that will take place soon when the Green Paper comes into action, teachers and TAs will have to plan and adapt the curriculum, assess and work directly with the pupils. A basic understanding of the pupils’ needs and learning about different ways to adapt the curriculum and work with them, will help the educators get into the habit of thinking about different way in which activities can be adapted.
Specific training can be provided for:
• Teaching Agencies
• Teacher Training courses (ITT, PGCE)
Autistic people can find everyday activities such as going to the doctor, dentist, hairdresser or travelling overwhelming. Having an awareness of how your establishment can make these experiences less stressful for autistic individuals or how to deal with a difficult situation when the autistic person is not able to cope, will mean that you will be better equipped to deal with these situations and the autistic individual will feel much more relaxed and thereby making your job easier!
Some establishments that would benefit from training and having an ASC friendly environment are:
• Transport Companies
• Nannies agencies