Welcome to St George´s Special School

Sandown Academy

Name of School Sandown Academy
Designation: Resourced Provision Communication and Interaction Difficulties (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
Number of Places 12 full-time equivalent
Age Range Key Stage 3 and 4

Children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Whilst the development of children with an ASD will be normal in many respects and, as a group, cover the full ability range, to varying degrees they find it difficult to:

  • understand and use non-verbal and verbal communication;
  • understand social behaviour, thus affecting their ability to interact with both children and adults; and
  • think and behave flexibly, this being demonstrated in restricted, obsessional or repetitive activities.

These children have difficulty in understanding the communication of others and in developing effective communication themselves. In some cases, this may result in a delay in learning to speak or developing meaningful speech. They find it difficult to interpret the social behaviour of others, are literal thinkers and often fail to appreciate or understand the broader social context of which they are a part. When routines are changed, or when settings donít meet their needs, they can become anxious or stressed. This can result in inappropriate behaviour.

Some children with an ASD have altered perceptions of sounds, sights, smell, touch and taste that affect their response to these sensations. They may also have unusual sleep and behaviour patterns. Young children with ASD may not play with toys in a conventional and imaginative way, but use them rigidly and in a repetitive manner. They find it hard to generalise skills and have difficulty in adapting to new situations, instead preferring a known routine.

Admission Criteria

To access the Resourced Provision Centre at Sandown Academy the child should:

  • have a Statement of SEN naming communication and interaction difficulties, usually specifying an autistic spectrum disorder, as the primary need;
  • be between 11 and 16 years of age (Y7Ė Y11), though admission in Y10 & 11 would only occur in exceptional circumstances;
  • have a level of functioning and cognitive ability indicative of a child who does not experience severe learning difficulties;
  • require access to an appropriately differentiated, broad and balanced curriculum;
  • require a high the level of social and emotional support;
  • be able to, or capable of spoken language, although this may need to be supported by an appropriate, augmented system of communication;
  • have a level of tolerance and a behaviour profile that suggests inclusion in mainstream activities is appropriate for a significant percentage of the timetable (if not immediately, within a reasonable period of time).