Autistic Spectrum Disorder


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and interacts with people around them. Children and adults with autism are unable to relate to others in a meaningful way. Their ability to develop friendships is impaired, as is their capacity to understand other people's feelings. People with autism can often have accompanying learning disabilities but everyone with the condition shares a difficulty in making sense of the world. Asperger Syndrome, is a form of autism and a term usually used to describe people at the higher functioning end of the autistic spectrum. Most people with autism have impairments in social interaction, social communication and imagination. This is referred to as the Triad of impairments. In addition to this triad, repetitive behaviour patterns can be a notable feature, as is a general resistance to change in routine.



The Learning Support Base

The Learning Support Base at Dove House was set up in 1999, to meet the needs of the growing number of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The Base is situated next to the school's main building, but is still very much part of the school. It aims to provide a supportive education for the pupils in meeting all their needs and helps prepares them to live independent lives. There is a committed and experienced team of staff working in the Support Base. The base enables pupils to work on a 1:1 basis, in small groups, or supported where needed, in the subject classroom. It is also used as a base for meetings with parents, staff, pupils and visitors. Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder become adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, yet much can be achieved with the appropriate education and support. The resource has received several excellent inspection reports.



Curriculum and the Learning Support Base

Pupils follow National Curriculum subjects as they are taught and learned by the whole school community. At secondary school age, independence, self-organisation, self-reliance and understanding 'the system' are skills quickly and intuitively learned by normally developing children. Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder may never master these skills, but they can be given appropriate support and learn strategies to help them deal with problems that arise from the syndrome. In order to achieve this, they need a specially enhanced educational curriculum and support from teachers and Learning Support Assistants who understand. As pupils progress through the school, the curriculum may need to be differentiated to accommodate their individual needs. This is the role and responsibility of the Learning Support Base team.




The number of pupils accessing the Learning Support Base provision fluctuates from year to year. Pupils must be able to access the majority of a 'mainstream' curriculum and will have a resourced place on their statement of Special Educational Needs.



Mission Statement for the Learning Support Base

Dove House School is committed to meeting the needs of all the children within its community. Our vision is to provide the highest quality care and the Learning Support Base team are committed to providing the best support and education for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder such that it will be a model of excellence for integration into schools of a similar nature.