Boarding schools of autism :
Pros and cons and considerations of Boarding schools of autism
Boarding schools of autism are institutions that facilities children’s education, contribute to a sense of independence and foster responsibility. They are a pivotal role in contributing to a child’s holistic development. When considering a boarding school for a child on the Autism spectrum, the parents will have a lot to consider before taking this step.
Firstly, does the child require assistance in their everyday life in school, in that regard they will then require a possible facilitator that would be an active part of their day to day life in boarding schools of autism. Also, the parents will also have to take into consideration if the facilitator is trained accordingly and has ample knowledge in regards to any challenging behaviours the child may have. In saying this, the facilitator will also have to be trained in aiding the child with therapy on any skills they may need development on.
The child’s parents will have to communicate with the school, including teachers and assistants around the school about their child as should there be any situation that the parents not be readily reachable. Therefore, in saying such the teachers that work closely with the child and the dorm attendants would need to be trained. This may incur costs to the parents as an external training facility would need to be contacted for the training.
As well as in class, if the child requires a facilitator present during lessons, schools may find this a challenge as the facilitator could be taking up a spot the would be for another child.
Also, when it comes to boarding schools, we need to take into consideration that children are away from their parents and with our children that are ASD, their parents should be active part of their recovery.
Some constraints to take into consideration is the fact that parents are not always easily accessible should they need to be contacted. Also, teachers may not be on board to being supportive and willing to be trained with the necessary knowledge and this will then contribute to the inconsistency a child should will then receive from all the people that the child may come into contact with at boarding school.
Some positives that could arise from taking on a boarding school, is that generalisation of any skill that is taught is readily available to run in this school setting and can be practiced in vivo at any opportunity. Another factor is that expecting the daily routine will be easier for the child as there will be seldom any change considering the fact that child could have any inflexibility issues that are provoking to them. It also offers the child to allow them to build strong relationships with teachers and peers as the likelihood of them changing is minimal and this fosters social interaction to a great extent and promotes good communication skills.
In saying this, if South Africa were to develop a boarding school, that would be specific to children on the Autism spectrum it would be more advantageous as all the people involved would share a common passion and purpose to foster growth, education and skills development for our children. Should such a possibility become a reality, The Star Academy would jump at the opportunity to train the staff to cater for the needs of the children enrolled.