Book Creator

SIE assignment

by Sarah Atling, Katie Kelly, Sadhbh Travers, Natasha Wyse

Pages 2 and 3 of 37

Supporting Non Verbal Autistic Children in a mainstream class

Handbook for
Newly Qualified Teachers
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Table of Contents
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1. Rationale

2. Augmentative and Alternative Communication

3. Visually Structured Teaching Approaches

4. Transitions

5. Structure

6. Involving others

7. Reference List
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3 - 9
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9 -13
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14 - 19
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20 - 23
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24 - 30
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31 - 34
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36 - 37
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Rationale
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The following is a support handbook that will act as a resource for a newly qualified teacher (NQT).

These resources and suggestions have been prepared to assist with implementing an inclusive pedagogy in a mainstream classroom. Inclusive education is crucial as it ensures children are not only present at school, but also have the opportunity to engage in meaningful learning (Florian & Spratt, 2013). This resource supports the development of inclusive education provision in schools. The main aim of inclusive education is to assist children with special educational needs to leave school with the skills necessary to participate, to the level of their capacity, in an inclusive way in the social and economic activities of society and to live independent and fulfilled lives. (Preamble, Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004). This handbook provides resources that will help the NQT alongside the SEN team to foster this aim in the mainstream classroom.



This handbook complements Circular 13/17 and The Guidelines for Primary Schools: Supporting Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools (DES, 2017). Allocations of support take into account the school's educational profile.

It is important to note that as part of the new model, children will receive additional teaching support based on their identified learning needs, rather than on their diagnosis. As a result, schools now have the responsibility for allocating resources, so as the class teacher it is crucial you have a clear picture of the needs of the autistic child as well as all the needs of all the children in your class. These resources build on your existing strategies to ensure the child in your class receives the required additional support. To facilitate this it is imperative that your educational plans are differentiated in line with the child's strengths and needs. Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) are support plans that will outline learning targets for the child.
The following diagrams are from the supporting guidelines and will help show you how to first go about creating an IEP for a child who needs additional help of some sort. All types of support plans are individualised plans.

The suggestions, recommendations, and ideas in this handbook are all related to approaches based on the continuum of support. Before consulting with this handbook it is important you have knowledge of this continuum as well as the child's IEP.

Guidelines for this planning and monitoring can be found in circular 13/17 and the accompanying guidelines mentioned previously. We advise you to consult these for general support, information, and when queries arise.
p. 7- 8
Findings from research carried out on newly qualified teachers (NQT) for the NCSE further supported our rationale for creating this handbook specifically for NQTs. The research suggests that NQTs can experience a 'reality shock' in their first year and this shock can result in lower levels of confidence and less positive attitudes towards meeting the needs of all learners (Hick et al, 2019). NQTs seek additional support for inclusive education (Hick et al, 2019). Therefore, this resource aims to provide appropriate support and guidelines for NQTs, to facilitate greater confidence in using a range of teaching approaches that will promote learning and participation such as adapting their communication strategies with pupils (Hick et al, 2019). We hope that this resource will support NQTs if they have an autistic non verbal child in their class to make the adaptations necessary to include them in their teaching and learning.
With the increase in the number of Special classes for autistic learners, and the necessity to promote greater linkages with mainstream classes, there is an onus on teachers to have greater knowledge and skills in meeting the needs of autistic learners, particularly those who are non verbal.
Our teaching experience was a huge motivator for the creation of this handbook. Although each of us have experience teaching in different locations, the common feeling that underpinned each of our experiences was a desire to learn more about communicating with and teaching autistic, non-verbal children. We were all very lucky to gain experience working with non-verbal autistic children in our time on school placement, and for most of us this was the first time we had the opportunity of doing so. 

We all shared positive experiences of working with the children and we felt that we had formed very strong bonds with them. We also noticed the emotional impact it had on the children when they were struggling to express themselves, with these emotions of frustration and self-doubt often resulting in outbursts or tears. 

From this experience we agreed that we would like to research more on best practice when teaching non-verbal autistic children so that we can feel more confident in our abilities to support them as an inclusive learner and foster their holistic development We know that for autistic children, and especially those who are non-verbal, “the language deficit is so disabling, and the acquisition of language so important for outcomes” (Rogers et al, 2006 p.1007). These children deserve teachers who will commit to providing them with every opportunity to communicate with confidence, develop close relationships with their peers and teachers, and express their thoughts and ideas without struggle. The following handbook will be of great use to you to in accomplishing this.
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