School honoured for pioneering autism work

Pioneering autism work
Pioneering autism work
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A ground-breaking new programme to help children with autism cope with the busy world around them has been given a special award.

Pendle View Primary in Colne received Lancashire County Council’s Learning Excellence Award for Innovative Practice for the unique work it does with pupils with autistic spectrum conditions.

Teaching assistant Stephen Lorimer has implemented the school’s Sensory Integration Programme specifically to help pupils with a sensory processing disorder.

Children with this disorder find it difficult to process the many sensory stimuli which bombard us during everyday life and can find certain situations, such as crowds, loud noise or bright light, extremely difficult to deal with.

The new programme includes exercises and activities which gradually acclimatise children to sensory experiences, reducing anxiety caused by sensory overload and helping them to learn better in class.

Headteacher Debbie Morris and Fran Clayton, deputy headteacher, have made the development of this work a priority over the past four years. Pupils who use the programme are now making outstanding progress in class as individual needs are being fully met throughout the day.

This innovative work is now being shared with professionals from both mainstream and special schools, and also the health service has visited school and seen the work in progress both in classrooms and the school’s specialist base.

Parents are delighted with the work and one said: “We can’t praise the school highly enough and it is one of the best schools we have had the good fortune to work with.”

Debbie Morris said: “We’re delighted with the award. This celebrates and recognises the outstanding work that our school has been doing for a number of years for our children with autistic spectrum conditions and their families.”