The social curriculum at Oaklands Autism Base permeates everything we do. It is not delivered through separate 'social skills lessons', although we do also hold these. Pupils' holistic progress across the social curriculum is captured and evaluated in detail using an innovative software package called 'ShowProgress'.
Our social curriculum is built around three pillars: communication, well-being and self-regulation.
We support pupils' verbal and non-verbal communication, both by developing their bank of skills and by adapting the methods of communication used in their environment. We work from the early beginnings of vocabulary and meaning building through to the development of sophisticated self-advocacy skills, depending on each pupil's stage of development. For some pupils, Speech Therapists provide care plans and targets and these may be implemented as an individual intervention or as part of group work.
We work hard to promote a strong sense of well-being in all of our pupils. We use Martin Seligman's PERMAH model to provide a framework for this. We teach pupils about the importance of each strand and design opportunities for them to grow and develop within each area. We try to equip them with the self-determination skills to secure good levels of well-being for themselves, both now and in their future.
Self-regulation, in all its forms, is seen as the ultimate goal at Oaklands Autism Base. Adults support pupils to become independent in their thinking, learning, social interaction and emotional regulation. Support is seen only as the pathway to future independence and is faded as soon as a pupil no longer needs it. Pupils are given opportunities to practise their self-regulation skills in a rich variety of contexts.