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Education And Autism Report Launched In The Houses Of Parliament

Pic: Autism Report - click to downloadParents with Austistic children have known for many years that the current education system is not working for parents, children and young people on the autism spectrum, and the schools and teachers trying to provide the right support.

Furthermore, at the very least four in ten families are being initially turned away when asking for the extra help they need. Schools and local councils don't understand how to help autistic children learn. They aren't providing things like help to make friends and work with classmates, teaching assistants, or a classroom free from bright lights and overwhelming noise.

Parents have to fight continually to get the support
their child is entitled to!

Hence, the reason why The National Autistic Society got together with Ambitious About Autism, and launched their Held Back campaign with the aim of making the Government ensure no children are held back from meeting their potential because they are autistic.

I don’t want to fight, but I feel like I have to.

A parent of a child on the autism spectrum

The school shattered my confidence – they had no understanding… they were unable to provide 'reasonable adjustments'.

A young person on the autism spectrum

Autistic pupils are probably the SEN group I need the most guidance with, and have received the least guidance on.

A teacher of a child on the autism spectrum

We are stuck in a system that wants the child to fail before help is offered.

A parent of a child on the autism spectrum

An open letter to the government supporting the introduction of a national autism and education strategy was signed by over 20,000 people and 1,800 people wrote directly to their MPs inviting them to attend a forthcoming launch in the House of Commons of a report being produced in conjucntion with MPs from all political parties in the House.

The letter and signatures were presented to the Secretary of State at the event. He promised that his department would be responding in full to the recommendations made in the report. He also highlighted that the Government were undertaking an exclusions inquiry.  

Last November, The National Autistic Society and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism published their report on autism and education. It found that autistic children and young people in England are being let down and held back from achieving their potential by this country's education system.

The findings and key recommendations of the report are:

The Autism Society website details the event:

Pic: Austism Report launch event

The co-chairs of the inquiry, Maria Caulfield MP and Huw Merriman MP also spoke at the event saying why they felt the introduction of a national autism and education strategy was necessary. Maria highlighted how her local MP surgeries were full of the parents of autistic children telling stories of how hard they had to fight to get the report in place.  Huw highlighted that over 3,000 people had responded to the survey that fed into the report. He noted that fewer than  half of the young people who responded said they were happy at school.

Two young people on the autism spectrum, Lauren Malina-Goldsmith and Sam Tanner also spoke about their experiences in full time education. Sam said that he felt like a fish in a tank of piranhas and Lauren spoke about how she felt her teachers didn’t have a lot of expertise in dealing with autistic students. 

Alongside Members of Parliament and the House of Lords the reception was attended by more than 100 young autistic people, education professionals and parents who all had stories to share about their own experiences of education and autism.

Source: The Autism Society / Ambitious About Autism /


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