Common Areas of Difficulty

Teenagers with autism may find school challenging for many reasons. Below is a list of common areas of difficulty and strategies which may be useful. However, differentiation is essential to meet the individual needs and circumstances of each student. We must ensure that these are culturally and contextually appropriate and relevant interactions, whilst remaining cognisant of the cognitive ability of each.

Area of Difficulty Potential Strategy
The demands of the curriculum due to sensory, anxiety or other issues Sensory Processing Resource
Organisation and prioritising (e.g. coping with the demands of a timetable, prioritising homework tasks) Executive Function:
Understanding and utilising appropriate social skills Social and Friendship Skills – See videos on social skills
Maintaining social relationships with their peers Social and Friendship Skills
Finishing a task/ activity (e.g. striving for perfection in their work or become fixated on the detail) Link to finishing a task
Coping with failure or not achieving as well as personally perceived or considered Social Stories can help see:


Transitions (e.g. moving classroom, changing teacher, weekends). Link to Videos in Best Practice Resource
Coping with change Transition section
A particular situation, lesson or person that causes anxiety Emotional Wellbeing section

This section introduces some tried and tested strategies that may be useful for teenagers in school.

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