TS5 & TS7: Autism Training

Last week I attended the two day Autism awareness course. I had attended courses centred around Autism and other SEN needs before so I had an idea of what the course would be like but every course is different and this definitely was! This was one of the best training courses I have been on (regarding SEN). The ladies that delivered the training were very knowledgeable and positive around this area as they had a wealth of experience to share with us.

The course was also very practical , which I really enjoyed, as we were able to experience how a child with Autism might feel when there is a sensory overload. This experience made me feel very confused and anxious and basically I zoned out as I could not concentrate on the task given. This helped me to understand why a child would struggle in class, especially when transitioning and the reason behind behaviours in this area. I have a child in my class whose behaviour escalates during this time and he will also hide under the table . I can now understand how distressed he must be feeling and I am going to use some of the knowledge and advice I have acquired from the training to try and reduce his anxiety levels. I am going to talk with my SENco about the child’s needs and suggest putting some of the knowledge I now have in place. The ideas I have are to put together a sensory bag for him to use when his anxiety levels are high eg between lessons, have mindfulness music playing in the morning when he comes into class . TS 5 Have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these.

The training also highlighted the need for strong firm boundaries with children with Autism. All children need boundaries but these children especially need these as well as consistency and routines. Routines help the child to feel safe and secure in their environment and the training highlighted the importance of routines and boundaries . When a child doesn’t have these routines in place, anxiety and behaviours can escalate. The child in my class is new to the school and so is unsure of routines so a plan of the day is always written on the board but I feel that a Now-Next – Then card system that we were shown in training may help with his anxiety and behaviours in the classroom. TS 7 manage classes effectively using approaches which are appropriate to pupils needs in order to involve and motivate them.

I feel that I now have a better understanding of Autism and I liked that we were told that ‘ it is ok to not know what to do and ask for help’. I feel that this and the strategies we were taught will have a positive impact on my practice. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at times by a child’s behaviour in my class and will now go back to school feeling more positive and able to cope.

Focused next steps to impact on your progress or the progress of the children in your care:

  • To have calming music playing in the classroom at the start of the day.
  • To talk to the SENco about putting a sensory bag together and about implementing the Now-Next -Then card.