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How to help schools help your autistic child

Posted on Tuesday, 10 November 2020, in OpenHouse Events, Child Autism

What if my child is low on confidence

 

For autistic children, attending school can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. However, in most cases, there should be a range of people who may be able to help, including the school’s Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo), inclusion managers, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, and occupational therapists. There should also be a number of different types of support available, including:

 

Language support

Many autistic children have problems vocally communicating when they need help. Language support offers non-verbal aid that can help in times of distress. The important thing is that all parties are aware of it and, importantly, that the child feels confident to use it.

 

Social and emotional support

This could be a safe place or a trusted person to go to in times of difficulty. Social skills training can also be provided to people involved in the child's care.

 

Cognition and learning

In the classroom, visual supports to help with new words, recordable devices to support working memory or technologies to support writing can significantly help autistic children. Support can be tailored to the specific needs of the child, and there may also be additional support such as one-to-one or small group precision teaching for specific learning gaps.

  

What should I do if my autistic child has been bullied

 

To get the appropriate support it's important to work as a team with all parties and especially the school, maintaining open, honest and constructive communication. This should include reviewing any school reports, highlighting key messages, and making sure everyone is aware of the most important issues that may affect your child. Just remember that school staff deal with lots of children, so try to be patient and don't overload them with emails.

 

How to challenge a decision you don't agree with

If you think you're not getting the right support and need to challenge a decision, we suggest consulting a specialist service to understand your options and what help is available.

Rae Britton

Rae Britton Content Editor BA Joint Hons, QTS

Rae oversees the creation of a range of content that offers insight, support and guidance on mental health issues. She is both passionate and ably qualified. She is a former primary school teacher, while she also has three children, two of whom have ADHD with one of those also diagnosed with Asperger’s. It means she can combine her expertise and direct experience to shape content that helps those in need to survive, thrive and excel.

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