For each competency below, we have listed some helpful resources and readings.
Your setting develops and values collaborative relationships with parents and professionals and sees each member of the team as a valued partner. All team members work together to develop positive home-school relationships and ensure relevant and effective support for the student across settings.
Staff are aware of the importance of school connectedness, which can be described as the extent to which students and their family feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment.
Your setting ensures that it has established links with external stakeholders which may include support groups for students, parents or family members. Information and links to these groups are provided to all parents and family members who may be interested.
There is an established and effective home-school communication method (e.g. email, phone calls, primary contact person) which is used for regular and frequent communication that is individualised to the student. Staff avoid using terminology and jargon when communicating with family members or where unavoidable, explain the terminology used. The setting offers flexibility in times and locations of meetings where possible.
The setting has proactive ways to prevent, monitor and manage teasing or bullying and clear procedures for students to share concerns about their own experiences or those of other students. Staff are aware that the research shows that students with autism are at increased risk of being teased or bullied, which includes cyberbullying. Staff are aware that even if students with autism do not react (or do not react in the expected way), it is likely to still be having an impact on the student’s self-esteem and well-being, and needs to be dealt with through formal procedures.
Staff are aware of the impact that social communication differences may have on peer relationships. Staff use knowledge of each individual student’s preferences to proactively support or promote positive peer relationships.
Staff are aware of providing supports for interactions between both student-staff and student-peer relationships. When doing so, staff are aware of the benefit of supporting both the student with autism (e.g. to process and understand the thoughts and feelings of others who do not have autism) as well as the individuals who do not have autism (i.e. to process and understand the thoughts and feelings of others who do have autism).
Staff interact with students with autism using the student’s preferred method of communication and build upon each student’s interests to develop and promote positive relationships.
Staff understand the importance of predictability and consistency in their interactions with students with autism. Staff are also aware that students with autism may interpret language literally, so they minimise the use of figurative speech (e.g. metaphors, similes and idioms) and check for comprehension.