Case studies

Re-integration of pupil with Autism and Dyslexia back into school

What was the challenge?

A year nine pupil with a diagnosis of Autism and Dyslexia had been out of school for two terms and was awaiting the outcome of a tribunal decision to attend special school. SEN services made a request for eight hours of home tuition to revise basic skills ready for integration back into school. There was little information available as to the levels the pupil was currently working at.

Approach taken by Education services?

The pupil had previously been seen for an LST assessment, so this information was used as a starting point, along with knowledge and understanding of the strengths and difficulties a pupil with Dyslexia may be experiencing.

The pupil was very reluctant to communicate initially. The Learning Support Teacher (LST) spent some time with pupil and parent together, asking about interests and sharing their own in order to develop a comfortable working relationship. As the pupil was reluctant to talk, the pupil was invited to respond to questions using hand gestures, it still took a little time for the pupil to feel comfortable using this method to communicate.

To ascertain an appropriate level of working the Learning Support Teacher used different resources (e.g. card games with different levels of words, books of different abilities) and asked both pupil and parent which they thought were easy/hard or appropriate. The pupil was looking forward to hopefully going to the identified special school and wanted to be able to do well.

Most sessions started without any verbal communication from the pupil, but the pupil became more confident and willing to use hand gestures. Activities and games were adapted to take account of this. Matching and memory speed games that required pointing rather than reading were played. The same applied to maths activities, which all used practical apparatus that could be manipulated in response to questions. The pupil preferred maths work and particularly enjoyed problem solving challenges.

As the sessions progressed the pupil communicated verbally more and more, so activities and tasks were adapted to account for this. In the final session (‘telling the time’) the pupil suddenly got up & fetched a clock they had made and instigated a conversation to explain how it had been made.

Improved outcome

The pupil gained a place at the special school that had been requested and Mum was thankful that the pupil had received tuition and social contact as a stepping stone to integrating back into school (starting on a part-time timetable). The pupil said they were pleased to be going back to school and now felt a little more confident about completing school work again.