Case studies

Homunculi approach to improve engagement of pupil on Autism Spectrum

What was the challenge?

A Year six pupil on the Autism Spectrum and with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) had not been engaging with learning and lacked confidence.

Approach taken by Education Services

A Specialist Practitioner from the Autism and Complex Communications Needs Team observed the pupil in class. This observation was followed by an introductory session to introduce the Practitioner and explain the intervention being undertaken.

The Homunculi approach was the intervention method chosen to support the pupil. This approach is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which helps manage emotional and behavioural difficulties. As part of the Homunculi approach the pupil was invited to write their story – identify their difficulty and what needs to be done to improve the situation.

Using real-life scenarios as part of the storytelling activity, the pupil was able to develop ways to address challenges and remove barriers to learning.

Improved outcome

Feedback from the Parent, School and Pupil was unanimous, all agreed that significant progress had been made and the intervention was successful. The Teaching Assistant and the pupil have both benefitted from the support and guidance given by the Specialist Practitioner. The parent commented that the intervention has also had a positive impact at home.

The primary outcome being that the pupil is now confident and aware of when to ask for help, so that they can now engage with learning during class activity.

Following recommendations the school asked for additional training to support the Teaching Assistant in meeting the needs of the pupil and in understanding the homunculi approach. Further support from the Autism Team will be implemented to support the pupil with transition from primary to secondary school.

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