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Autistic spectrum disorder

Autism is often diagnosed at a young age and affects communication, relationships and imagination.

As the degree of autism varies, we recognise that some students have accompanying learning difficulties and can often need a high level of support whilst others are much more independent.

At Blackpool Sixth, we aim to integrate you slowly into the way of life, helping you become as independent as possible and building the confidence to see you move on through the rest of your life at Blackpool Sixth and in the winder community. We try to provide you with a friendly and supportive environment, giving you the opportunity to pursue your aims and ambitions for future aspirations.

Should you require it, we will make available the services of an experienced support worker, who is conversant with the needs of students with Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome. The aim is to foster a personal relationship with you to provide not only support on an academic level, but to help develop your personal and social skills.

How can we help?

You may need regular 1:1 support, or a small study group. Professional Assessments are often used and support updated accordingly.


The support worker will accompany you to all relevant lessons. The role of the support worker will be negotiated according to your individual needs. It may involve taking notes, asking questions on your behalf or being aware of visible signs of anxiety, fatigue and stress. If the need arises, you can have time out from class until you feel settled, recovered and confident enough to return to your studies.

If a second support worker is required we want to ensure you are comfortable with the decision so that we can continue to care for your needs accordingly, should the main support worker be unavailable.

Out of lesson time

A Learning Resource Centre will be developed as a permanent base for you. This practice gives you an opportunity to study and research in a familiar environment with fellow students, providing a step to greater independence and slowly introducing social interaction.


Dedicated staff and students run a ‘friendly’ table throughout the lunch period. There are also buddy mentors who are students who you can meet up with to introduce you to new friends and help you to settle in.

Recreational/Enrichment activities

A support worker may accompany you to your chosen activity. We try to ensure someone with you is familiar with your needs and condition.

Popular activities which have been attended by students on the autistic spectrum have included Badminton, Taekwondo/ Kickboxing and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The Film Club has been another choice. A recreation / enrichment activity is compulsory for all Lower Sixth students.

Independence skills

If necessary, part of your Learning Agreement could involve developing independence skills including shopping, travelling and money management.

Exam access arrangements

Subject to an assessment, we can apply for special exam considerations, please click here for further information.


Please click here to download our leaflet on how Blackpool Sixth supports autistic students.