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Education For Autistic Children

I've been very lucky with Jodi's schooling. He has always attended a school for children with special needs where the teaching staff have always included him. However, others have not been so fortunate.

In September 2006 it was reported by the Children's Commissioner for England that education for autistic children in UK was "shocking" and "appalling".

There are an estimated 90,000 children with a diagnosed form of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, but there are most likely many whose problems have not been officially recognised. However, there are only 8,000 suitable educational places available in special schools. The government have promised a review.

The National Autistic Society feel the education system fails autistic children and their individual needs are not being met. They are spearheading a campaign called Make Education Make Sense.

Being able to access education is a legal right but apparently 25% of children on the autistic spectrum are excluded, and 40% have been bullied.

With such a spectrum of disability each autistic child will have different needs and strengths and if our children are to be accepted in mainstream schools then teachers need more training.

Simple adjustments can make a lot of difference. Autistic children need lots of visual aids and a quiet place to go when they feel overloaded.

Many parents feel if their child is quiet and content to sit by themselves doing relatively little they get left to their own devices. Teachers attend to more demanding children.

In such circumstances it could be desirable to try home schooling. I have a friend who took her son out of school for five years. She taught him at home with considerable success.

He is now back at the same school and is flourishing. He actively joins in the activities and lessons but without her one-to-one intervention during those five years,  who knows?

Whatever you decide to do though remember it has to be right for the whole family. If you attempt home schooling with the wrong attitude then your chances of success are slim. It's not easy and must be something you want to do rather than have to do.

Some of the things you may need to consider about home-schooling would be:-