Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), affects more than 1 in 100 people. Some people with ASC prefer to be referred to as “autistic people.” Here, we will use the term ASC.

Children and young people with ASC can have a different way of understanding the world around them. ASC can affect each person differently, and just like everyone else, people with autism will have their own individual strengths and weaknesses.
ASC is not an illness or a disease, which means there is not a “cure”. It is a lifelong developmental condition that affects many areas of a child’s development, but there are strategies which can help reduce some of the difficulties. 

A child or young person with ASC might experience difficulties with some of the following: 

  • Communication

    • Finding it difficult to express themselves

    • Struggling to understand facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice

    • Taking what people say literally

    • Difficulty understanding jokes or sarcasm

  • Social interactions

    • Struggling to relate to others and knowing what to say and do in social situations

    • Difficulty making and maintaining relationships

    • Avoiding eye contact

  • Imagination

    • Struggling to imagine what other people around them are thinking or feeling

    • Difficulty with imaginative play or storytelling

A child or young person with ASC might struggle with sensory sensitivities, changes to routines and transitioning. They may also spend a lot of time and energy focusing on a special interest(s) in which they may become very knowledgeable.

We have developed a booklet in school to help us to support pupils with ASC. You can also find further information about supporting communication via our communication and interaction page and information about sensory needs on the sensory page. 


Autism Champions

At Boarshaw Primary School, Mrs Facchin, Mrs Windsor and Mrs Greenhalgh are now Autism Champions. Rochdale Additional Needs Service has provided the information below about what an Autism Champion is and why we feel we needed to have Champions at our school. 


Who are Autism Champions?

Rochdale Additional Needs Service and Educational Psychology Service are working together to deliver a new strategic model for working with educational settings to meet the needs of our children and young people with ASC: Autism Champions. This will result in 1 or 2 members of our staff to be supported with CPD to develop their own knowledge and skills about autism.


The Autism Champions will:

  1. Be responsible for co-ordinating support to meet the social emotional and learning needs of pupils in the school with ASC

  2. Be an advocate for the children/young people,  listening to their personal stories in order to gain valuable insight into their personal experiences

  3. Provide a safe space for pupils to access drop-ins, emotional support, lunchtime clubs, scheduled intervention groups etc

  4. Share knowledge and information with setting staff about individual pupils with ASC to enable consistent approaches throughout

  5. Liaise with other professionals and agencies

  6. Liaise with parents/carers and provide advice/support

  7. Be responsible for facilitating transition plans for pupils.

  8. Co-ordinate training for setting staff


Why do we need Autism Champions?

There are an increasing number of children and young people in our schools and colleges with a diagnosis of ASC. Many of these pupils find the expectations, demands and physical environments of schools extremely challenging. Literature highlights some of the problems experienced by pupils with ASC in our schools such as anxiety, bullying, social isolation and acute sensory sensitivities. It is suggested that many children/young people with ASC may be academically able to access the mainstream curriculum yet will probably require a range of social/emotional support systems in order for them to meet their potential in school. Evidence suggests that many can be accommodated successfully if they are provided with the appropriate support structures. Research has also found that although many teachers say they are committed to the philosophy of inclusion, they do not feel they have the necessary training or support to provide effectively for these pupils.


We are accredited! 

An accreditation review took place on 20th June 2019 and where we successfully met the threshold in 4 key areas, those being leadership, support for individual pupils, environment and resources, partnership and liaison with parents/carers. Our staff have worked really hard to undertake training and attend cluster meetings to help ensure we were meeting the threshold required. The details of the excellent feedback we received are attached here.



Support for Parents 

During the school closure (March 2020), the RANS Team for Autism & Social Communication (ASC) have provided the following support for parents with suggestions for activities, sensory ideas, free resources and links to useful websites to help support home learning. There is also a useful visual timetable provided to help support the development of a routine.

Early Years Parent Handout

KS1 Parent Handout

KS2 Parent Handout


CAMHS - Workshops for parents/carers of Young People with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC)



Autism Awareness Week March 2023

During World Autism Awareness Day 2023, we are experiencing unprecedented and challenging times. The following guidance provided here by the National Autistic Society offers helpful tips to support autistic people and families during this difficult time.







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