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The development of a whole-school approach is essential in maintaining a sustainable provision. The saturation model was originally developed to illustrate the principles of effective inclusion of autistic learners in a secondary mainstream school, but it is equally applicable to all educational phases and contexts.

The word ‘saturation’ is deliberately used to emphasise the need for autism-friendly principles and practices to permeate every aspect of school life. Prominence is also given to the integration and coordination of strategies, with the hope of avoiding a fragmented, ‘programme for every problem’ approach that is neither cost efficient nor sustainable.

Aims and outcomes

This unit will help participants to:

  • highlight the differences between medical and social models of disability
  • develop people’s thinking around disability and inclusive practice
  • understand how the saturation model can transform schools and educational settings, with proactive support as opposed to crisis management.

Unit contents

  • Understanding different models of disability
  • Hidden disabilities
  • Understanding disability as part of an inclusive curriculum
  • Why can schools be so challenging for young people?
  • Parents and carer experiences
  • The saturation model
  • Thinking and applying the unit to your setting
  • Action planning

Unit content

Unit 4: Developing a whole-school approach