Considering placement for your child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can be a challenging task with all that needs to be taken into account. Finding an autism private schools that offers a specialised treatment plan set out specifically for your child, addressing their individual needs, improving the skills they already have and helping them to reach their full potential is an important task for a parent with a child on the spectrum.
Finding inclusive mainstream schools with support structures put in place for the special needs of children with autism may be a daunting task, and as such, it may be difficult to consider whether or not to seek placement for your child in a mainstream school or to rather seek placement in autism private schools.
There are a few things that should be considered when researching school placement for your child with special needs:
- Communication: does your child have an appropriate means of communication that can be understood by other people such as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) or an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) device, and if not, will the school of your choice be able to provide that for your child?
- Challenging behaviour: does your child display any challenging behaviour that could inhibit them from learning from their environment, peers and teachers? Is the school equipped in managing challenging behaviours presented by some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Find out how they are equipped, what are their qualifications and how do they manage this behaviour? Is this suitable for your child?
- Classroom support and facilitation: Does the school provide your child with the right support structure in the classroom environment? Are there trained professionals available to assist your child and ensure that their skill deficits are addressed within the classroom environment? What training do these professionals have? And how will they develop and IEP (Individualized Education Programme) for your child?
- Skills: What skills does your child already have and which ones will they need in the classroom? How can you provide your child with these skills before enrolling them at school? Or, will the school provide these for your child either during school hours or after school hours with specialized care and intervention?
- Peer interaction: what deficits does your child have when it comes to interacting with his or her peers? Will the school be equipped to give your child the appropriate means for bettering his or her interaction with their peers? Are the peers in the classroom environment educated on children with special needs and will they be educated on how to interact, communicate and understand your child with special needs? How will your child’s social interaction be bettered at your chosen school? Will they be included?
While some of these questions may be difficult to answer, they are important to acknowledge when choosing the right school for your child. The specialists at The Star Academy can provide expert guidance in answering and taking action from the answers to these questions.
The saying, “Team work makes the dream work” is evident when placing your child with autism in school. Remember, that you may need more than one type of support for your child and if this is the case, everybody who will be a part of your child’s journey, plays an important role. So the above must be considered in all possible scopes, so that the changes made are made with consistency. Consistency is key to the maintenance of your child’s recovery.