Emotional Well Being

‘Autism-friendly’ education leads to high levels of emotional health and well-being
Nearly all of our pupils continuously and consistently demonstrate they are functioning at very high levels of emotional health and well-being. This is achieved as a result of staff understanding, and addressing, the potential difficulties that youngsters with ASD face in a social learning environment. Uffculme School has identified specific difficulties relating to social learning and has made the necessary adjustments to make it ‘autism-friendly’. The type and level of support each pupil requires depends on the following:

• The specific ASD difficulties of the individual
• Communication needs
• Sensory issues
• Developmental levels and rate of learning
• issues relating to the environment
• individuals’ preferred learning styles
• personal interests

The vast majority of pupils at Uffculme School have trouble communicating how they feel. Outward manifestations may be the best clues. In fact, some experts suspect that outward symptoms of anxiety – such as fidgeting and acting out – may be especially prominent among those with ASD and that this is the case even when the person possesses some verbal skills. Our school staff are urged to be alert to even minor differences in pupil behaviour, demeanor and affect. It is Uffculme practice to keep regular contact with parents concerning their child’s progress and needs. Maintaining a close working relationship is especially important when the young person has impaired, or virtually no, communication skills.

There is an indisputable link between behaviour and communication. Communication and language skills have an empowering effect and, when used appropriately, can improve levels of well-being significantly. Therefore, in proportion to how our pupils’ communication skills develop, challenging behaviours diminish – both in severity and frequency - and well-being increases.

In addition to the various comprehensive communication resources and programmes, we also use personalised social scripts (photographic) and stories to decrease anxiety levels. The scripts and stories increase pupils understanding, enhance their social development and thus build self-esteem.

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