Best Practice

Supporting autistic children to return to school post-lockdown

The return to school after lockdown 3.0 could be challenging for students with autism. Drawing on experiences and lessons learned from the first national lockdown, Dr Pooky Knightsmith advises on how we can best support them


I have had a huge amount of interest in how we can prepare our autistic learners for the return to face-to-face school and ensure that they settle well once they are back.

I did a lot of work on this following lockdown one, so here I am going to share what worked last time so you can use it as a basis for might work for you this time.


Start with the positives

As we begin to consider the transition back to school, it is easy to look for the barriers, the worries and the negatives, but it can help to focus first on the positives. Doing this can help us to focus in on a child’s strengths and protective factors and use these to help guide our planning.

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