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CASE STUDY Oscar, Social/emotional, Extensive

Year level
Educational setting
Mainstream school

Level of adjustment
Category of disability
Included in data collection

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.

Information that supports inclusion in the NCCD What's this?

  • Step 1. Is there an adjustment to address disability? Yes

    Yes, adjustments are provided to enable Oscar to access education on the same basis as other students.

    As defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Oscar has a disorder, illness or disease that affects his thought processes, emotions and judgement.

  • Do you have evidence? Yes

    • Diagnostic reports
    • Minutes from collaborative meetings with parents and specialist staff (and transition meeting notes)
    • Documented teacher observations and schoolbased assessments
    • Social stories
    • Timetable of supervision
    • Speech therapy records and reports
    • Safety plan and behaviour support plan (with monitoring and review)

    Personalised learning plan (review of agreed goals and targets across all curriculum areas and associated adjustments and strategies)

  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Extensive

    Oscar requires adjustments at all times that are individualised, comprehensive and ongoing, including:

    • intensive, individualised instruction and support in a highly structured or specialised manner for all courses and curricula, activities and assessments
    • intensive, individualised instruction to support multiple areas of communication
    • planned, intensive safety support or intervention
    • enabling of access to learning through:
      • specialised equipment
      • extensive support from specialist staff.


  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Social/emotional

    Oscar has a social/emotional disability in the form of autism spectrum disorder that affects his thought processes, perception of reality, emotions and judgement. Current adjustments target social-emotional and cognitive functioning as well as behaviour. However, as the majority are focused on establishing classroom routines and social interactions, the student meets the social/emotional category.

  • Step 4. Record and submit the data Yes (Student is included)

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