Autism Spectrum Disorder, commonly referred to as Autism or ASD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder. This means that the brain does not develop the same way as that of a neuro-typical person. ASD is comprised of a number of developmental disorders that were previously considered independently from one another such as autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). (for detailed descriptions of how the conditions were previously defined click here (https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/autism-spectrum-disorders)
At Randburg Clinic School we treat every learner like the individual that they are.
OUR CURRICULUM AND PROGRAMMES:
An Individual Education Plan is the backbone of curriculum delivery, recording and reporting. We incorporate the following learning areas:
- Social Interactive Behaviour
- Language and communication
- Imagination and thinking development
- Daily living and independent skills
- Gross motor, fine motor and perceptual skills
- Motor movement
- Leisure activities
- Sensory modulation
OUR CLASSROOM SETUP
There is an average of 8 learners per classroom, along with a teacher and a classroom assistant. Our classrooms are fully ASD friendly with Visual Schedules, Visual and concrete Learning aids as well as individual learning stations for various classroom tasks.
OUR LANGUAGE OF LEARNING, TEACHING AND COMMUNICATION
English is the main language of learning and teaching in conjunction with a number of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods to increase learners’ expressive communication. Supplementary communication methods are an integral part of our curriculum delivery and encourages learners to be more independent. At RCS we implement the following:
Makaton Sign Language, which is a language programme designed to provide a means of communication to individuals who cannot communicate efficiently by speaking. Makaton has been effectively used with individuals who have cognitive impairments, ASD, Down’s syndrome, specific language impairment, multisensory impairment and acquired neurological disorders that have negatively affected the ability to communicate.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), is a form of non-verbal communication in which the learners are provided with visual representations of items that can be used by the learner to request for the item. This method of communication allows learners to ask for items that they may not know the word for and is particularly used for non-verbal learners.
Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children (TEACCH) was developed in the 1960’s at the University of North Carolina and is another teaching technique we use. It emphasizes the strengths and emerging skills of a learner to assist in their expressive communication to increase independence.
In addition to the above mentioned methods, social stories are another one of the tools we implement as part of our curriculum. Social stories help learners with ASD acquire, generalize and maintain social skills to succeed at school, home and in society. It addresses specific situations by teaching appropriate behaviours and social responses to learners. For example, how to cope with changes in routine or how to get along with other children.