Nine out of ten teachers don't feel prepared to teach children with autism, yet statistically every teacher will teach a child with autism. How can we expect teachers to do their best if we do not train and support them?
"It wasn't clear he was autistic and it was horrible for me because I felt like I had let him down. It made things worse for him as it showed his differences from the other children." Teacher
No teacher enters the classroom wanting to fail a child with autism, but without the right training many feel they are doing just that. All teachers should be trained and supported to deliver the best teaching and learning for all their pupils, regardless of their needs.
But right now, although statistically every teacher will teach a child with autism during their career, nine of ten teachers do not feel prepared to do so. With 1 in 100 children having a diagnosis of autism, why do we think it’s acceptable for teachers not to be trained to meet their needs?
We believe all school staff, especially support staff and classroom assistants, should receive autism training. We believe this training should be a part of their professional development and maintained throughout their career, not solely delivered during their initial teacher training. All children with autism deserve to be taught by teachers who understand their needs and can deliver the best teaching and learning so they can achieve their full potential. It’s time to support teachers and children and young people with autism.