Autism and Social Communication Difficulties
Children and young people with a diagnosis of autism and those who present with social communication/interaction difficulties may perhaps find the initial transition to education settings more challenging. Knowsley Educational Psychology Service have conducted literature researches in this area and have collated a collection of practical resources, which may aid, support and promote a seamless transition.
- Starsteam offer plenty of practical resources on their own website
- Council for Disabled Children: Guidance and Advice on Coronavirus: What Does That Mean for My Family? This document focuses on supporting children and young people with autism and a learning disability. It simplifies general guidance for supporting children and young peoples’ mental health and well-being.
Guidance and advice on covid19 LD focus
- National Autistic Society: The latest guidance on coronavirus and useful information.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many communities and organisations developing ways to support each other, especially those most vulnerable. In addition to keeping physically safe during the pandemic, it is also important to care for our emotional health. Below is a section of recommendations for promoting the emotional well-being of children and those that care for them.
Social Stories to support the return to school
Social Stories by Carol Gray are short descriptions of a situation, event or activity, which include specific information about what to expect in that situation and why. They are often used to support individuals to develop more certainty about a situation. This often results in increased emotional security and containment and decreased anxiety. Social Stories may be a helpful way to prepare children and young people return to school.
- Dr Corrinne Twomey (Senior Educational Psychologist, Autism, Essex Educational Psychology Service).
- Dr Louise Hill (South Gloucestershire Educational Psychology Service)
- Tara Tuchel of Autism little Learners has produced a lot of little storybooks to help children understand changes around them, they can be found on her website www.autismlittlelearners.com A couple of examples from her site are:
- Getting My Temperature Taken Story
- Getting a temperature taken can be difficult for some young children, especially for those who have sensory defensiveness. For some, having somebody put an object in their mouth or near their face can be anxiety producing. Sometimes, preparing children ahead of time can be helpful. Hopefully this little story can help with that!
- Separation anxiety
- Separation anxiety may have been made worse for a lot of little ones due to COVID-19 and the stay at home orders. This story talks about mum or dad leaving the house and how it might make children sad. It guides them on what they CAN do instead of whining, crying or pulling on parents. A cue card for deep breathing and a cue card for "my mum/dad will come back" can be used to give your child something tangible to hold on to and focus on.