Autism Resource Centre
The Autism Resource Centre (ARC) is situated in Lower school. It is staffed by a senior teacher Rachel Evans (with responsibility for Autism for the school and OUTREACH in mainstream), Emma Ross (who also teaches in Middle School) and Amrah Atkhar (Teaching Assistant). Children come in very small groups (across the key stages) with an accompanying Teaching Assistant from class.
The focus on the sessions includes working on the key areas of language and communication, intensive interaction and the pre requisite skills needed for social interaction.
We also work on specific targets on an individual basis. We use principles of T.E.A.C.C.H. These skills are then generalised into other settings within the school environment.
It is a brilliant experience seeing the pupils initiate contact and positively engage with adults and peers. I believe that young children with autism need to see the potential effects they can have on people and their surroundings and harness this enthusiasm.
ARC believes in close liaison with staff and parents and is involved in parents evenings and Annual reviews. We can also work closely with families to help with issues such as behaviour, communication and sleep. Every month Rachel holds a drop in where parents can book an individual slot and come and discuss issues.
As a result of a very successful external audit we have add sessions with pupils from Key Stage 3. These have also covered issues such as puberty and sharing a diagnosis. There is always a focus on increasing independence skills.
This year we are using the ARC type approach to look at Maths in Middle school - this will be monitored closely.
ARC is a very popular place with our pupils, the low arousal environment gives pupils time and staff to process.