Autism is a lifelong condition that has a great impact on children, young people and their families or carers. It can affect how they make sense of the world around them. Usually, difficulties are present in early childhood although sometimes they are not evident or significant until a time of change or transition.
Children and young people with autism constitute a wide and varied group of learners, including pupils who do not simply require a differentiated curriculum or teaching at a slower pace, but who are likely to require further adaptations through personalisation if they are to make progress.
There is a wide range of cognitive, social and communicative ability within the autism spectrum which can include children with profound learning difficulties, with little or no verbal communication through to those with average or high levels of functioning.
Children and young people with autism and more severe learning disability may exhibit more extreme social impairments, less verbal ability and increased repetitive, self-injurious and aggressive behaviours than children and young people with no, or only mild, learning disability.
Children and young people with autism may show behaviours and characteristics including, but not limited to:
- rigidity and flexibility of thought, resistance to change, high levels of anxiety;
- ritualistic/repetitive behaviours, stereotypical mannerisms and obsessive interest in specific items or information;
- speech, language and communication needs;
- developmental coordination difficulties and/or delay in motor skills;
- sensory sensitivities which affect their response and ability to understand and make sense of their world;
- lack of skill in interacting with others;
- little understanding of the abstract uses of language, e.g. humour;
- lack of ability to infer what others are thinking and experiencing;
- difference in emotional reactions to environmental cues;
- difficulty with thinking and play which is creative, imaginative and social;
- disrupted or unusual sleep patterns.
Children and young people with autism also exhibit positive traits such as exceptional visual and/or auditory memory.
Enhanced Mainstream Schools
There is a network of EMS for Communication and Interaction across North Yorkshire, including five enhanced secondary schools for autism link to EMS Autism page, five enhanced primary schools for communication and interaction and an advanced early years provision for specific language impairment link to EMS C&I page
Autism Strategy - Useful Documents