Extreme pressure to find the right school for their child burdens parents not long after their child is born. This becomes even more of a worry when a child is diagnosed with Autism, a Learning Disability or struggles with sensory issues or challenging behaviours. The process of trying to get the help and funding your child needs through statementing, here in the UK, is extremely stressful for parents. Many parents have discovered that when they finally have their Statement of Special Education Needs, the named school is often lacking in the knowledge and expertise to sufficiently support their child. In desperation parents have started to turn to setting up their own schools (Free Schools), or schools themselves have become Academies, allowing them to break free from some of the regulations they feel that have prevented them from providing sufficient support for their pupils. Both my son and daughter are featured in the video showing the ABA school Step by Step in East Grinstead. This school was my first choice when I arrived in the UK, after home schooling my children using an ABA based home program, first in South Africa and then for 9 months in the UK.
SCHOOLS for ASD kids
Many parents opt to home school their children using various Autism therapies such as ABA, SonRise or RDI in order to give their children the skills they need before they attempt to integrate them into a school. Some parents, including those of children without a diagnosis, or neurotypical children, decide to home school to the end of their children's schooling days. The video opposite features Amy who was home schooled and is now helping home school other children. Teenagers with Autism, in particular those with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism, have opted to be home schooled because of bullying or the school's inability to support their anxiety or social needs. Many parents whose children suffer within the mainstream environment due to a lack of support, choose to withdraw their child from school when the child develops depression as a result. So much can be accomplished if the school is willing to listen to the parents' concerns and work together with the familiy, other services and professsionals to help the child in question.
While the fear of someone different, or change, can damage the outcome for a child in a non-supportive school environment, good team work can help improve outcomes and the quality of life for the child and their family. The video opposite uses existing cartoon clips and adverts to illustrate the difference between bad and good team work. While the video is light hearted it should be noted that the future of the child can be seriously impacted by whether or not a multi-disciplinary approach is adopted by the school. Working together with the child and parents, Athene likes to facilitate constructive dialogue between home and school. She makes postive suggestions for support, as well as refers or sign posts to other professionals or services that may be of assistance. The ASK behavioural home program integrates any therapeutic or educational prescriptions made by the school or other professionals such as Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists or Educational Psychologists. Training is provided on request for any of the multi displinary team. Parents often request that Athene trains any teachers or Learning Support Assistants that work with their child.
If you need advice regarding choosing an appropriate school, or you would like help providing training for those who work with your child at school, please contact Athene today to book a free consult to hear what services she can provide to help your child.