I’m taking part in the event and looking forward to chatting to the other speakers and meeting as many guests as possible. It feels like a huge responsibility; I’m aware that my experience as an autism parent is not unique, and I cannot attempt to speak for everyone. But what I can do is speak my truth, share my learnings and trust that the words resonate and bring hope and fresh determination to other autism parents and the children they care for.
It is undeniably a bewildering journey, not least for the ‘hidden’ aspect of this neurological condition. Of course, it’s hidden to those who choose not to see, but for those of us with our eyes wide open, the difference, brilliance and creativity of autistic children is difficult to ‘unsee’!
What we are wanting is for the educational establishment to see our children and young people with a fresh eye. To navigate their differences in learning and communication style using empowering and supportive ways. We want to know there is at least one truly listening ear in our child’s place of learning, so we can pass on useful information to you about our autistic child that will help everyone in the educational and support team. We would like you to recognise that what we are discussing is not about ‘special treatment’ it’s about equal treatment in an environment that is geared towards homogeneity.
‘Exclusions of autistic pupils set to be halted after landmark legal ruling’
This is great news for autism parents. The charity Ambitious About Autism has highlighted that children with SEN are the group of children most likely to be excluded from school, the education system is effectively failing them.
It is precisely because of headlines like this in London’s Evening Standard, why the Happy in School Project exists. There is still a lot to do in terms of teacher training and change won’t happen overnight, but it’s certainly encouraging to see a commitment at the highest levels to improving the situation for children and young people with autism.
The education system is pressed and sadly autistic children are many still falling through the cracks. The Happy in School Project can provide you with inspiring and creative guidance on how to support your child before, during or after an autism diagnosis.
Autism is a ‘hidden disability’. This means that the features of the disability are not always obvious and can be misunderstood. For example, severe anxiety and stress can look like rage or disobedience, especially in the classroom.
I examine this in my new book S.E.N.D in the Clowns (due to be published in 2019). The video provides a taster of the book and an overview of these important themes.
The Happy in School Project is an interactive, dynamic and empowering programme for parents, early years co-ordinators and teachers (especially NQTs), to increase understanding, improve dialogue and most importantly, ensure the children in our care are happy in school.
For coaching services or team workshops, please contact us via the form today.