What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism is a complex developmental difficulty that affects social and communication skills. People with Autism can often have accompanying learning difficulties but everyone with the condition shares a difficulty in making sense of the world. Often the condition can create episodes of acute anxiety and there is a higher than average rate of depression amongst people on the Autism Spectrum.
The ASD Resourced Provision
Manchester Academy has a specialist secondary resourced provision to support students who are on the Autism Spectrum. Places are allocated by Manchester City Council to students with Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPs) and have a diagnosis of Autism or Specific Language Impairment. Each student will have a bespoke programme to suit their needs. The aim for the students within the resource base is to access mainstream lessons. On some occasions students may need to spend time within the provision. This may be full lessons or part of lessons e.g. time out. On these occasions teachers will be asked to provide work so they can continue their lesson within the base. It is vital that there is clear communication links between the base staff and teachers to ensure the pupil makes progress. The class teacher will always remain responsible for the progress of that child but the staff in the base will provide the necessary support to enable progress.
Students who are allocated a place in the base have access to a range of therapies including art therapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. There may be occasions where students have to leave lessons to attend these sessions and it is necessary they do so in order to meet the requirements of their EHC plan. We also currently run interventions relating to social skills, travelling, life skills as well as Lego Therapy and Scooter/Skateboarding. The resource provision is open before and after school as well as break and lunch times to support students.
Mainstream students with an ASD diagnosis
We will aim to provide an ASD friendly school. Students will be provided support as per the SEN policy in the school. Whilst students with a place in the provision are the key priority for the ASD Resource Provision, students in the mainstream of Manchester Academy with an Autism diagnosis (with or without an EHCP) may receive some outreach support from the resource provision team but this is always in agreement with the ASD lead and SENCO e.g. social skills intervention groups, time out etc.
How can my child get a place in the ASD Resource Provision?
Admissions to the ASD Resource provision are decided by Manchester City Council with consultation with the Manchester Academy ASD Base. All students have an Education, Health and Care Plan. If you feel that the ASD Resource provision would be a suitable provision it is important to talk with the SENCO at your child’s school. Arranging a visit to the base would be encouraged and the discussion of an ASD Resource Provision should take place in the EHCP annual reviews. It is useful that Manchester City Council are aware of the situation. It would be advisable to be looking around suitable provisions in year 5. During the application process you should specify a preference of Manchester Academy Resource Provision rather than Manchester Academy