Welcome to the Centre for Autism
The Centre for Autism caters for pupils between the ages 3 and19 with a diagnosis of autism or autistic spectrum disorder, as well as associated communication and learning difficulties. The Centre has nine classes and pupils are placed in classes according to their age and learning ability where possible. A high staff ratio and small class sizes ensures that pupils receive excellent support and quality individual attention, and this is reflected in the whole ethos of the Centre.
Our pupils follow the new Curriculum for Wales underpinned by our school values; Independence, Well-being, Opportunity and Sustainability. We have always taught with a thematic approach which now also enables us to deliver the Areas of Learning and Cross-Curricular skills. Our aims are for our pupils to develop communication, interaction, self help, own behaviour management, leisure and social skills that will enhance their education and life long learning skills.
We aspire for all pupils to have full access to a personal means of communication and to facilitate their transition into adult life beyond Heronsbridge School. This curriculum is very much a ‘Towards Independence’ curriculum. We strive to promote parent-school partnerships to enhance communication and consistency across the home and school.
Speech and Language Therapy
Many young children enter school without speech or difficulties with communication. The input of the speech therapist is vital. There is a strong emphasis on functional communication and our Speech and Language Therapist works alongside classroom staff in naturally occurring situations which offer maximum opportunities for the teaching of communication skills. It is recognised that staff also need to learn how a pupil communicates and to learn and use the pupil’s own ‘language’ to establish themselves as effective communication partners. We use a range of communication strategies with our pupils including PECs, Skills for Early Reading, Colourful Semantics and Signalong.
Positive Behaviour Management
Heronsbridge School has adopted the PROACT-SCIPr-UK© System of behaviour management and there are 4 trained Instructors within the centre to implement training of staff. Staff are taught to assess and address an individual’s needs to create a positive and nurturing environment which reduces barriers to learning and allows an individual to access their learning more effectively.