As I promised, here are my tips for secondary teachers getting ready for the next school year. There are likely to be a number of students with autism or other SEND needs coming into your classes this year and I want to share some of the tips and advice that I would usually pass on to secondary teachers.
Emma and I work with around ten secondary schools and our support looks very different from the work we do with primaries. The differences in the way a secondary school works brings up additional challenges for the school SENCO and for individual teachers.
Firstly, the movement between lessons, having up to six different teachers each day and the responsibility of being organised, on time for lessons and doing homework are major challenges for autistic / SEND pupils. On top of that is the minefield of social relationships, especially in Year 7 when children are meeting lots of new children from different feeder primaries and everyone is working out new relationships and friendships. I'm not going to go into all the challenges and issues in this blog, but give teachers some tips on how they can make their classrooms and lessons autism/SEND friendly and a little bit of advice for a whole school approach that really makes a huge difference.