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Cumbria Academy
for Autism

Cohort

The school has been designed to meet the needs of those autistic learners who present with high level support needs and cognitive profiles similar to that of a mainstream school.  Provision has been designed to support those with a moderate learning disability through to gifted and talented learners.

We understand that students with autism are individual learners.
For each student there will be a highly individual profile that emerges which will have implications for learning.

CAA recognise it is important that the profile of each individual is accurately recorded capturing both their strengths and challenges to ensure realistic and appropriate expectations are set.

The profile of a child with autism can be mixed or ‘spiky’ meaning that there are inconsistencies in performance across a range of developmental and curricular areas. They may have strengths and abilities appropriate to or beyond their developmental age. In some areas, conversely, skills may be far below their developmental stage. The pupil may be inconsistent in the execution of tasks; they may demonstrate competency but then appear to have lost the skill or the motivation to carry out the task, therefore, autism is central to the curriculum design for the student.

It is these youngsters, with inherently ‘spiky’ profiles of ability that will form the cohort for CAA. It is essential to consider how to work with the child’s autism in such a way that takes account of how to use strengths in their profiles, placing emphasis on the identification of skills, talents and abilities. It is important to capitalise on these skills to the benefit of the student and develop areas of strength.

CAA recognises that each student will be different and this lies at the heart of our personalised curriculum; profiling provides a route to contributing to the social and emotional wellbeing of individuals, recognising sources of their anxiety and utilising motivators as strategies for dealing with them. Profiles will be developed and updated throughout the year as part of the curriculum and IEPs.

CAA will improve the life chances of learners at the school who will have a diagnosis of Autism and a statement of SEN, be unable to function in a full-time mainstream due to their significant support needs yet not be eligible for complex needs schools. They will present with ‘spiky’ profiles of ability.