Oscar is a 5-year-old boy who is in Year 1 and attends a rural primary school. He is a twin and was diagnosed as presenting with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by the local ASD assessment team. Transition meetings and planning occurred in kindergarten to prepare for his transition to school.
Oscar is non-verbal and uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device with adult support at all times. He does not acknowledge people who are present nor when he is addressed. He frequently (daily) attempts to run away so the school has put in place a safety plan, and he is supervised during all transitions throughout the school day including in the playground during recess and lunch. He is also provided with additional supervision during PE lessons and for excursions.
Oscar constantly struggles with the structure and daily routine of the classroom, has difficulty following instructions and engages in avoidant and oppositional behaviour throughout the day (eg if he is required to sit on the mat, he will scream and stand where he is or try leave the classroom). He is unable to complete work independently and requires constant adult support throughout the school day. He is accessing the ABLES curriculum (a modified curriculum) with the assistance of the classroom teacher, learning support teacher and teacher assistant. This was put in place after consulting with parents and external specialists. A daily communication book is shared between staff at the school and Oscar’s parents, providing regular feedback on his behaviours at school and at home.
Oscar has a personalised learning plan (PLP) that records key short-term goals aligned with the curriculum and associated adjustments and strategies. Ongoing monitoring and review of his PLP occurs each term in a program support group meeting with input from specialist staff (eg speech pathologist, learning consultant ASD/behaviour) and his parents.
A safety plan and a behaviour support plan have also been implemented and are reviewed alongside the PLP each term. These address behaviours of concern, known triggers, and strategies to address the behaviours (eg going to a safe space with an adult to calm down). Positive behaviour support strategies are adopted by staff throughout the day in accordance with the plan. The teachers also use Oscar’s interest in transportation and number as a way to engage him and support skill development. Visual schedules and choice boards are also used most times throughout the day across a range of activities and lessons. Further assessment by an occupational therapist regarding sensory preferences is to be completed.