Routine and predictability are key to helping children on the autism spectrum manage their feelings of anxiety.
Christmas can be an overwhelming time for everyone, but for children on the autism spectrum it can be particularly challenging. With crowded shopping centres, loud Christmas carols and family gatherings with distant relatives, it can all become too much to process.
One of the strategies used at our Aspect schools involves the use of social stories to help our students understand what to expect in the lead up to, during and after an event or activity.
For nine-year-old twins Jake and Kade, who were diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age five, a countdown calendar for the holiday season helps them to regulate their behaviours and manage their feelings of anxiety. Routines can be the difference between emotional health and happiness, or stress and worry.
We want to share with you a calendar just like the one that Jake and Kade use to count down the days until the return to school, their favourite time of the year.
What makes an Aspect school so unique?
In our Aspect schools and satellite classes, every student receives a specialised education, uniquely tailored to meet their individual needs.
Here are some of the reasons why Aspect schools are so unique:
- Smaller class sizes: Class sizes are reduced so our highly-trained teachers can provide individual support that focuses on each student’s unique strengths, challenges and aspirations.
- Tailored lesson plans: Every lesson is tailored to suit the needs of the student. Teachers use autism-specific tools, strategies and aids to help children like Jake and Kade reach their individual goals.
- Sensory processing strategies: For Kade, sensory tools like noise cancelling headphones and a sensory tent, have helped him to manage external stimuli, while strategies such as social stories have helped Jake gain confidence.
- Learning apps and technology: Teachers use learning apps like Reading Eggs to help both boys build literacy and communication skills.
Your donation can help keep a child at their Aspect school
This year has been challenging, and like so many of the Aspect families we support, Jake and Kade's parents have faced financial hardship. Their mum Nicole, spent many sleepless nights worrying that the boys may have to move to a new school, and start over without the autism-specific support they need. She feared the boys would lose all the progress they’d made, feel completely overwhelmed and be unable to cope without the structure, routine and support of their Aspect school and teachers.
The best solution to this problem is to provide more Aspect School Sponsorships to families facing financial hardship.
Donate today to help protect the autism-specific education of children like Jake and Kade.