The children in our Resource, The Ark, come from all areas of Reading: from Tilehurst, Caversham, Newtown and Whitley. We even have pupils in The Ark who live in Wokingham District and West Berkshire.
It’s no surprise that children with autism sometimes find it difficult to cope with school. Many of those with ASD also have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and the “meltdowns” which can be provoked by intense emotion and stress, often make it difficult for these children to thrive and give of their best in mainstream classrooms.
We try to give the children routine and to help them enjoy success. As much as possible they take part in the normal life of the school. They go to assemblies, take part in sports days and school visits, and are in class with their peers for much of the week, but we are also able to make available specialist therapies, we have our sensory room, and when things get just too complicated, the physical building of the Resource is a safe haven: an ark to provide refuge.
The Learning environment
The Ark has quiet spaces to help pupils to learn when class gets too much for them, including a sensory room equipped for calming or for stimulation. A sensory garden is under development to include a music area, a wildlife area, a growing area and a fountain. Pupils can access this to help calm them down as well as learning about different plants and wildlife.