Helpful tips for choosing a school for autistic children
It is any parents dream to see their child go to school, but choosing the correct educational setting for your child is a big decision and an ever bigger one to make when you have a child who has been diagnosed with autism or a autism related disorder. ‘
When choosing a school for autistic children you want to be confident that your child will receive a good quality education and that the school will be able to accommodate your child’s specific needs. As an ABA instructor and working with children on the autism spectrum, I have attended and worked with a number of schools for autistic children. Here are some guidelines for choosing the correct school for autistic children:
–Compare mainstream to special needs school: the first tip is to compare mainstream schools to specials needs school for autistic children. It is important to note the difference in mainstream schools and special needs schools for autistic children. Mainstream schools do not necessarily cater for special needs, although there are some who have become more ‘inclusive’ and have on-site occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc. Special needs schools are schools designed for a specific purpose of catering for and educating children with autism and other disabilities. Although the government intends a shift towards inclusive education, which means that all schools should include special needs children in their school, there is still a number of factors to include in your decision regarding a school for autistic children:
Will your child benefit from attending a mainstream or special needs school for autistic children: it is very important to take into consideration whether your child will benefit more from attending a mainstream school or a special needs school for autistic children. Higher functioning (or “lower support needs”) autistic children will benefit more from attending a mainstream school as they are more able achieve academic goals set out by the government for all children in their curriculum. Lower functioning (or “higher support needs”) autistic children can also attend mainstream schools with the help of a school facilitator and still attending a school for autistic children to ensure that that they still receive one on one learning to build on their academic, social, cognitive, executive functions, language, motor and play skills with the goal to attend school without a facilitator when they have acquired the necessary skills. At The Star Academy, we ensure that your child has the prerequisite skills necessary to be successful in school before sending them to school. There are also those children who benefit more from having a full-time one-on-one programme without school attendance.
Will the school be willing to accommodate your child’s specific needs: A child on the autism spectrum often have very specific needs and often needs customized changes for academic or social purposes.it is very important to make sure that the school will be able to accommodate your child’s specific needs and to make sure that the school will accept your child for who they are and work with you as a parent and a special needs school for autistic children to ensure your child receives a good quality education. Here are some factors to look at:
-will the school accept a school facilitator to help your child in class?
-what strategies does the school use to deal with challenging behaviors?
-are the school open for communication with your child school for autistic children?
-will the teacher accept your child, be positive, and push and strive for optimal progress?
These are just some of the guidelines used by The Star Academy to assist us in making the right choice for a school for an autistic child.