World Autism Acceptance Week 2023
At BeyondAutism, we believe that every autistic child and young adult should have access to an education which empowers a life full of choice, independence and opportunity. This World Autism Acceptance Week we’ll be taking a closer look at how we live this within our services as well as sharing some great resources for parents and professionals to support autistic learners.
“As a society, we need to transcend differences in approach and work together to ensure that we are taking the time to hear the voices of autistic learners, using the resources and support that is already available to improve the education experience for all autistic children and young adults.”
As we reach the halfway stage of our 5-year strategy, CEO, Tracie Coultas-Pitman reflects on what we’ve achieved so far and what still needs to be done to empower autistic children and young adults in our latest blog.
Every individual deserves to have choice over how they live their lives. Person-centred plans (PCPs) are a great tool to ensure that individuals are kept in the middle of any decisions that impact them. Find out more about what a PCP is and why they’re so important to the individual in our blog about planning. You can also download our free PCP resource to get you started.
|We live this in our services every day and each learner has their own unique plan. Over at Post-19, Charlie loves cooking, and one day he’d like to work in his own restaurant. His individual plan focuses on the skills he needs to achieve that, like doing a work experience placement in the charity office to learn more about business admin. Find out more about Charlies love of food here.
Skilled, knowledgeable staff are vital to achieving positive outcomes for autistic learners and ensuring that education is accessible to all. Currently, 80% of teachers feel that a lack of teacher training is impacting on autistic pupils’ education. We want to address this and so for one week only, all paid online training courses are 25% off, including our CPD-certified Introduction to autism for professionals. Simply visit the training section and sign up for a course and the discount will be applied automatically.
If you have a bespoke training need or if you’re looking for support for a specific learner, our Outreach Team provide person-centred support through tailored interventions. Find out more about our Outreach offer and get in touch today for your free consultation.
A life of choice, independence and opportunity starts with support, tailored to individual needs, at as early an age as possible. For parents at the start of their journey, it can often be difficult to know where to look for support. Our Early Years’ service, which runs entirely on donations, focuses on the family unit as a whole – the interdisciplinary team works with parents empowering them to build the skills and knowledge to support their child’s communication and understand their behaviour. Find out more about the service here.
Marta, who works in the Early Years’ team has spent some time with parents and created a short session discussing various support strategies around common difficulties for parents such as getting a haircut or brushing teeth.
Many common issues amongst autistic children stem around sensory processing needs. To understand more about sensory processing and some key takeaway tips, take a look at our blog.
Around 16% of the school-aged population have Special Educational Needs¹, yet the absence rate amongst pupils with an EHCP is twice as high for those without². More needs to be done to make classrooms more inclusive for autistic learners to ensure they don’t miss out on education. Reasonable adjustments must be made to both the environment and the curriculum to support those learners. This could be creating different learning objectives for each pupil or changing the communication methods for assessment tools. For tips and tools to take into your setting watch our recent Lunch and Learn on adaptive curriculums.
Our Outreach Team regularly work with schools with learners who are out of education. Last year, we worked with a pupil who wanted to be in school but found the environment overwhelming. Things got so bad that she threatened to take her own life and was hospitalised for several months. Ultimately, she missed almost two years of school. We activated the network of professionals around the child and created a person-centred plan, in which she was the main voice. Through small steps, the pupil now attends school four days a week and she was supported to complete her GCSE’s. She’s much happier, her self-harm has reduced, and she is now looking to follow her passion at art school.
To find out more about how our Outreach Team support schools to make more inclusive classrooms read Jess’ full story here or get in touch for a free consultation.
World Autism Acceptance Day
Throughout the week we’ve looked at ways we think the education system can be improved for autistic learners. From increased accessibility to better training and resources there is lots still to be done. Director of Services, Seth Bolderow spoke with some of our staff members to speak about what we’re doing in our services to support learners to lead an independent life, our holistic approach to education, and keeping learner voice at the heart of planning to ensure pathways are based on their likes and aspirations. Check it out here.
As we mark World Autism Acceptance Day, there is still much work to be done in society to make it a more accessible and inclusive place for autistic people. If you’d like to support us in empowering autistic children and young people, giving them access to an education that empowers choice, independence and opportunity, please make a donation today.
By making a donation you will be helping us continue to provide life-changing services to autistic children and their families, such as our free-to-attend Early Years’ service, and training and resources focused on building family resilience.
World Autism Acceptance Week 2024 takes place from 2nd – 8th April, and we’ve got loads planned.