This is a transcription of an interview with Steve Philp about his experiences in education by Helen Moore, Specialist Support Instructor:

SteveWhat has made a difference to your education?

I have received outstanding personal support at Weston College. Having people around who are trained in and understand autism and how it impacts people, and who take the time to get to know me as an individual has changed my future, and has helped me get to where I am today.

What would help other people with autism?

I think that there is a lot to be done which could help improve the lives of people with autism:

I think that more specialist support should be provided for people with autism, both in education and in the community. For example, specialist support should be provided in junior and secondary school as well as in college and university. I also think that it is very important that support is available for people with autism throughout their lives, for example to help with legal, financial or social support.

Another thing that I strongly believe is that we need to “spread the knowledge” about autism. By this I mean that we need to promote autism so that people understand not only how complex the condition is, but also that every person with autism will be impacted differently and will have individual needs.

I also feel that it is very important that professionals who want to work with people on the autistic spectrum are trained and experienced in this field. For example, my university Music professor is a specialist and expert in music, and is a great teacher. But he does not have an understanding of autism or how to effectively create tasks, assignments or environments in a way that are really accessible to people with autism.

People with autism have a lot to offer society if society lets them.

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