“Being autistic is not necessarily disabling,” explains Dr Luke Beardon. “Instead, it is a disadvantage. And is that disadvantage a result of being autistic, or is it a result of being in a certain environment?”Dr Beardon is certain it is the latter.
“Being a teacher and having that level of expectation to engage with the autistic community without really good solid levels of support is massively unfair on the teacher, the child and the family,” he explains. “But there is no doubt we are failing these kids.”
He discusses how we combat this. He offers three golden rules to support autistic students and offers a huge amount of advice to teachers on everything from pastoral care to academic support to behaviour.