Autism Spectrum Disorder – Education
Our Autism Spectrum disorder centres are in Durham and Teesside. We give a unique blend of research, experience and best practice to suit each young person. We support his or her learning, understanding and choice making, therefore enabling each young person to lead a fulfilling and happy life.
Our achievements are through an approach that maximises young people’s strengths, abilities and interests. Therefore enabling each young person to identify their starting point and create a plan. Furthermore, this way they can 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. In other words we facilitate social interaction, attention and understanding. Consequently supporting positive emotional development such as self esteem, self value and self assertiveness.
Our Total Communication strategies focus on receptive and expressive communication. They are personal to that person. 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. Moreover young people are encouraged to lead an active lifestyle they enjoy. An active lifestyle can decrease 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. As a result, a wide range of physical activities are available both in the service and within the local and wider community of Durham and Teesside.