Blaenau Gwent, South Wales – An elementary school in Blaenau Gwent has achieved Autism Friendly School status as a result of the effort it has made to both accommodate and support students who are on the autism spectrum.
The status was granted by the Educational Psychologist for Blaeneau Gwent Victoria Morris after a two year evaluation period where a total of 28 criteria were met by the school, therefore making it the only educational facility in the area that has earned the distinction. Although Ystruth Primary School has only recently been awarded the recognition, because of its Special Needs Resource Base (SNRB) it had already been a well-known educational facility throughout the community.
Ultimately, the status serves to reflect the school’s clear commitment to create an environment where students with autism spectrum disorder can learn, develop and thrive academically. However not only are staff members expected to be supportive of the unique needs of students with autism, its mainstream pupils are encouraged to do so as well. Administrators believe that with both staff and students joining together to support ASD pupils, it will enrich the school as a whole and will ultimately help mainstream children to be empathetic as well as understanding regarding those who are different.
Source: Jonathan Evans on the Wales Online website: School celebrates after gaining ‘Autism Friendly’ status