4.1 Assessing and monitoring

Assessment and monitoring are dynamic and symbiotic processes in which an autistic learner (and every learner) is at the centre. As a result, it should not be divorced from other aspects of the child’s life either at school, home or in the community.

Assessment is an integral part of learning and teaching which takes place in every classroom each day. It helps to provide a picture of a learner’s progress and achievements and to identify next steps in learning. Assessment should identify if particular strategies and supports continue to be appropriate for individual pupils. 

Assessment can be for a variety of purposes. These may include reviewing and revising individualised educational/learning/support plans or compiling risk assessments, as well as monitoring progress in curriculum areas. Information may be required as part of a ‘joined-up’ assessment, towards development of a pupil profile, diagnostic information or for a coordinated support plan, consistent with the principles of the ‘Getting it right for every child’ approach to provide a holistic view of the child.

Assessing autism

The assessment of autism in Scotland:

  • Is a process rather than an end-product. The information provided in the assessment should support the learner’s next steps for learning.
  • Should be a holistic and collaborative process which takes place over a period of time, drawing on a range of observational and assessment methods.

It is the responsibility of all who work with children to respond appropriately to their needs. Recognising early signs of difficulties and adapting learning and teaching approaches are a regular part of the daily routine for teachers supporting all children in an education environment. For those learners who may have additional learning needs, such as those arising from autism, it is important that these needs are met in the best possible way by accurate and timely identification.

My World Triangle is one approach which can be used to gather more information from a range of sources (some of it possibly specialist), to identify the strengths or wellbeing concerns in the child or young person’s world.

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Figure 13 My World Triangle

Access and download a copy of the My World Triangle and Further resources, images and information on the My World Triangle [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

4 Assessment and monitoring

4.2 Identification of autism