Views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of The National Autistic Society and reference to specific services or approaches to autism does not
imply endorsement, nor does the absence of any services or approaches imply that NAS Richmond does not support them.
Images in this website credited to Allan Sears (who has autism), Alison Sears, and the Microsoft Office plus Bing Clip Art image libraries.
All material © The National Autistic Society (Richmond Branch) 2017 and cannot be reproduced without permission.
Website Terms and conditions of use. By using an NAS branch website you agree to be bound by the following Terms and Conditions, which take effect immediately on your first use of any NAS website. View the NAS Terms and Conditions of use for NAS websites: www.autism.org.uk/branchtermsofuse
NAS SCHOOL EXCLUSION SERVICE FOR PARENTS
The School Exclusions Service offers advice and information to parents of children and young people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on all aspects of school exclusion in England. This includes advice on informal (illegal) exclusions; fixed period and permanent exclusions; how to challenge your child's exclusion and what you can do if you are concerned that your child is at risk of exclusion.
Children with autism are particularly vulnerable to being excluded from school. Sometimes behaviour associated with this hidden disability can be confused with disobedience because of a lack of awareness of the condition by both pupils and adults in school. Sometimes a pupil with autism, trying to cope with the unstructured social aspects of school life, can feel overwhelmed and become anxious, stressed and aggressive, resulting in a meltdown.
Headteachers may feel that exclusion is the only solution in order to maintain the safety and well-being of other pupils. Indeed it may be the case that a mainstream school is not the most appropriate setting for a particular child. However, disruptive behaviour can be an indication of unmet needs and schools have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to policies and practices to ensure that pupils with ASD also feel safe, confident and able to experience success.
How to use the NAS School Exclusions Service:
Call the Autism Helpline on 0808 800 4104 (Monday-Thursday, 10.00am to 4.00pm, Friday 9.00am to 3.00pm). The Helpline will take details of your query and arrange a telephone appointment for you with our Exclusions Advisor, who will call you back at the agreed time to discuss your query in detail.
Alternatively, send your query via this NAS Helpline Enquiry form (it may take up to 14 working days to receive a reply as the helpline does experience a high demand for its services).
NEWS AND INFORMATION FROM NAS HQ
FREE ONLINE MONEY MANAGING TOOL FOR AUTISTIC ADULTS
Created by MoneySuperMarket in association with the National Autistic Society, this Money Managing module is free and aimed at anyone on the autism spectrum who is of an age where they are ready to start learning about managing cash, banking, savings, and debt.
The Money Managing module covers a wide range of money-related topics and can be completed in one visit or accessed section by section over as many visits as you need. It uses videos, text, short quizzes, and interactive cash machines and password generators, as well as offering information on managing your accounts, reasonable expenditure, debt management, and signposts to further information.
Please visit NAS Managing Money for more detailed information about this useful online financial tool. If you would like to find out just what this free module can offer you, please click on Money Management where you will be given the log-in details and access to the module.
MY WORLD: ONLINE RESOURCES FOR TEACHING STAFF
If you are a teacher and have an autistic student in your class, you may not know about the many small ways in which you can help them to have a better time at school. Sometimes it's a little bit of the right kind of extra support which can make all the difference to someone on the autism spectrum who is struggling.
If you are a teacher or education professional, do sign up to the MyWorld campaign to get free information, practical tips and resources straight to your inbox every fortnight. The campaign is designed to help teachers and other education professionals support pupils on the autism spectrum in schools by providing access to the best free resources and information on teaching autistic children and young people - from pre-school children right through to students in higher education.
AUTISM: A RESOURCE PACK FOR SCHOOL STAFF
There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK. That’s more than 1 in 100 people. In a school, it is likely that there will already be one or more autistic children.
Educational professionals may be teaching or supporting a child or young person who they feel may be on the autism spectrum. The diagnosis process may have just started or the diagnosis may not yet be confirmed, but they want to increase their understanding of autism and appropriate interventions to use with that child or young person.
To support these professionals, Autism: resource pack for school staff has been published by the NAS which will be useful for any member of staff working in an education setting.
This pack can be of help to any member of staff working in an education setting. The NAS has included information about autism, how it may affect children and young people in education settings, information on strategies, interventions and useful resources from the NAS and other organisations. The NAS hopes their pack will give those members of staff greater confidence in working with pupils who are on the autism spectrum.
PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS
Christmas can be an exciting and fun time but an autistic person may be confused or distressed by all the new activity. With the help of Your Autism Magazine the NAS has compiled a list that may help you through the festive season.
An autistic person may find any kind of change difficult. Some suggestions include:
• Using a visual timetable to prepare for Christmas for specific events, to highlight
school days and home days, or the night when a guest is coming to stay.
• Talk about Christmas and what this means to your family.
• Make a booklet about Christmas with pictures of Christmas trees, decorations and
Christmas food. Remember, if the autistic person takes things very literally, they
may become anxious if your Christmas does not appear exactly as in the pictures.
• Liaise with school or college so the same strategies and visual supports are used
as at home, and so that Christmas preparations are started at the same time.
• Prepare the person for specific events, eg: showing them a photo of a man dressed
as Father Christmas.
• Encourage younger children to share their concerns about Christmas by using a
worry toy or try to help them by using a relaxation book.
Many autistic people have a strong need for routine, Here are some suggestions:
• Keep the daily schedule the same as far as possible, including on Christmas Day.
• Incorporate a Christmas activity that they enjoy into their daily schedule, eg:
opening the advent calendar, or switching on the tree lights.
• Give them some Christmas-free time in their daily schedule. This could help you to
observe anxiety levels and make any adaptations for the rest of the day.
• Give them some quiet time with a favourite activity in a Christmas-free zone at key
moments that may be stressful, eg: when other people are opening their presents.
Many autistic people will have differing sensory needs. For example, returning home to find a tree with flashing lights could be a bit of a shock. You could:
• Involve the person in the preparations, eg: shopping for decorations, handling
decorations, see them being put up, or letting them help take the decorations down.
• Consider decorating gradually, eg: putting the Christmas tree in position, decorating
it the next day, then putting up the other decorations even later.
• Keeping things that might overload them away from communal areas, eg: not
having flashing lights in the living room, but in another room.
Do visit this NAS Christmas webpage where you will find even more suggestions plus links to various resources.