Warrington School/Curriculum/Autism spectrum

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The Autism spectrum describes the variations in any population of people, such as the children in a school, in the ways different people think and react to their world. It is best to think of every person in the world as being somewhere on the Autism spectrum, rather than people being EITHER "autistic" OR "normal" OR "having Asperger's syndrome"

How the spectrum shows up

A particular person...

  • easily fits-in to social settings or is confused in social settings or somewhere in the middle
  • freely shares their feelings or show little emotion or somewhere in the middle
  • sees the world the "same as me" or from a refreshingly new angle or somewhere in the middle
  • enjoys stories, narrative and plots or is fascinated in numbers or maps or Dr Who or train timetables or somewhere in the middle

What parents of a child on the Autism spectrum would like everyone to understand

  • offering a lot of choices (more than one!) to the child might seem generous but can actually be overwhelming
  • sometimes our child doesn't want to join in, but doesn't mean to be rude or excluding
  • some people use stories, words and ideas, others like to feel the textures shapes and colours of things.
  • when a child says "I don't like this situation" or "I can't eat this" they just might REALLY mean it
  • we really appreciate the small, accepting community that a country school can provide
  • Autism specrum issues only exist in social settings; when our child is at home, everything is "normal" (because everyone is used to it)
  • we think of our child as being good at some stuff and not so good at other stuff, just like any other child. In that sense, our child is "normal".
  • many, many children and adults would register on the Autism scale but have never been diagnosed. That's why we haven't written our child's name here: it doesn't hurt to behave as though anyone you meet MIGHT be somewhere different on the Spectrum from where you are

Find out more about the Autism spectrum

  • watch the Peter Sellars movie 'Being There'. Hilarious, but draws on stereotype.
  • watch the Dustan Hoffman/Tom Cruise movie 'Rain Man'. Hilarious, but draws on stereotype.
  • read 'The curious incident of the dog in the night'. Hilarious, clearly well-researched.
  • read: the Wikipedia article about the Autism spectrum. A helpful introduction.