STAFF and pupils at a Cwmbran school are celebrating after being awarded for their work raising awareness of autism.
Nant Celyn School, in Cwmbran, were recognised by the the national website for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), ASD Info Wales, who rewarded the school with a “Learning With Autism Primary School Award”.
The award follows Nant Celyn’s full programme of events to mark Autism Awareness Week and all staff completing ASD Info Wales’s training in autism awareness, held at the end of March.
The school is also recognised for its ASD resource base which includes ‘focused tasks’ and sensory areas such as a rooms filled with music, a disco light and soft surfaces.
Gemma Bussy, the head of primary and secondary Autism Bases in Torfaen, said ‘I am incredibly proud of the staff and pupils in both the primary and secondary resource bases for their enthusiasm and dedication in ensuring that this Autism awareness week has been a success.
“Both provisions have worked tirelessly in promoting autism awareness both within their schools as well as within the local community.
“Obviously autism awareness is not something that is isolated to one week at Nant Celyn Primary – it’s something that we promote each and every day.”
Higher level teaching assistant Claire Sharpe added: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to and success of our ‘Autism Awareness Week’ activities.
“All staff in the school have completed the ASD Info Wales ‘Autism Awareness Certificate’; this has included non-teaching staff such as the Midday supervisors, canteen staff and the school caretaker.”
The school worked alongside Bron Afon and students from the University of South Wales as well as organisations linked to condition, including play therapy.
Donna Benson, a play therapist, said ‘Nant Celyn Primary School are always at the forefront of autism awareness and work tirelessly to promote the needs of autistic children across the wider community.”
“Parents and carers are often faced with questions and anxieties themselves about how to manage their autistic child, so to be able to give a taster of how Theraplay-based approaches can help, and to meet such parents and carers was a privilege and great opportunity.”