Autism Spectrum Disorder – Education
At our Autism Spectrum disorder centres in Durham and Teesside, we provide a unique blend of research, experience and best practice which is molded to suit each young person. We support his or her learning, understanding and choice making, thereby enabling each young person to lead a fulfilling and happy life.
Our developments are achieved through an approach that maximises young people’s strengths, abilities and interests. Thus enabling each young person to identify their starting point, plan milestones and reach their full potential.
The areas we focus on for young people with autism spectrum disorder, are communication and physical education.
This is where we create strategies, resources and stimulating environments which help to develop young people’s social, non-verbal and verbal communication abilities. We facilitate social interaction, attention and understanding, and support positive emotional development such as self esteem, self value and self assertiveness.
Our Total Communication strategies address both receptive and expressive communication and are personalised according to a young person’s needs. These strategies include the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), objects of reference, signing, voice output devices, social stories. Also visual strategies, physical, gestural and verbal prompts.
An Active Lifestyle
An active lifestyle with positive exercise is a core principle of our approach. Young people will be positively encouraged to lead an active lifestyle they enjoy. We believe that an active lifestyle and exercise is often associated with a decrease in some of the stereotypical and repetitive behaviours associated with autism. These include social, sensory, and learning difficulties as well as learning disabilities and complex behavioural needs.
Research has proven that an active lifestyle can improve attention, improve sleep patterns, and release excess energy. It can provide opportunities for leisure and social interaction and is a key part of our repertoire of strategies for calming young people when they become anxious.
Young people are encouraged to find physically active activities they enjoy through taster sessions. Once activities are found which they enjoy they are encouraged to add regular activities to their weekly plans. A wide range of physical activities are available both in the service and within the local and wider community of Durham and Teesside.