Current research shows that only 16% of young people with an autism spectrum diagnosis are in sustained, full-time employment and we are passionate about changing that statistic. Our young people have many skills that will be valued by employers and we support our students to choose a pathway that highlights their strengths. We actively encourage our ex students to come back to the school to talk to staff about their experiences, as these personal insights give staff a greater understanding of the challenges that our young people face and how best to support them. Opportunities for existing students to talk to ex students are also scheduled, providing an older mentor who views the world from an ASD perspective and who can support and guide those who are struggling with the impacts of their diagnosis.As Director of Special Educational Needs, I work at both LVS Hassocks and LVS Oxford, where, with the Leadership Teams, we ensure that we are meeting the many and diverse needs of our students. Our vision of academic achievement, employability and independent living necessitates a thorough assessment for new students, ensuring that the transition into LVS Hassocks is as stress free for the individual as possible, and the necessary supports are available from day one.
The best outcomes for students are achieved when they and their family are included in setting the individual’s targets for the coming year, and providing regular feedback on progress towards those targets. We have an opportunity to deliver a curriculum that we believe really supports young people with an ASD diagnosis.
I also firmly believe that staff expertise is a vital element in providing appropriate support for our young people, and we therefore offer a very comprehensive induction and training programme, including inviting adults with an ASD diagnosis to talk to staff.
Current research shows that only 15% of young people with an autism spectrum diagnosis are in sustained, full-time employment and we are passionate about changing that statistic.