Autism: Dad’s fears

PUBLISHED: 12:15 26 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

A FATHER with two autistic children is urging people to back a campaign to improve educational provision for children with autism after he claims to have found current school conditions inadequate. The Stevenage resident, who does not wish to be named, vi

A FATHER with two autistic children is urging people to back a campaign to improve educational provision for children with autism after he claims to have found current school conditions inadequate.

The Stevenage resident, who does not wish to be named, visited 27 different schools on 37 separate occasions before settling on a school for his children, 11 miles from their home.

He said: "I'm satisfied I've found the best school that's available for my children but it's still not ideal because it's a mainstream school.

"We're putting autistic children into mainstream schools when they don't understand our school customs.

"We have to make school make sense or they are not going to be able to learn."

The National Autistic Society's Make School Make Sense education campaign aims to improve educational provision for children with autism - a brain disorder affecting communication, social interaction and creative or imaginative play - by increasing teachers' training.

The concerned parent believes necessary steps should be taken in schools such as breaking information into bite-size chunks, giving advance warning about what is going to take place during the day, and teaching through pictures, as autistic people are visual learners.

The worried father said: "Education is a right and it's not up to a child with a communication disorder to make sense of school.

"It's up to schools to find a way of making sense to the child. Otherwise we need to seriously question, who are the ones with the communication disorder?

"It's frustrating that everyone is expecting the child to make the communication breakthrough."

For more information about autism and the Make School Make Sense campaign, visit www.nas.org.uk

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