Supporting diverse learners
Creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all students is integral to learning.
The educational needs and way of learning for students on the autism spectrum are often different to their neurotypical peers. It’s therefore vital that teachers adapt teaching practices, learning environments and programs to help support autistic students achieve their best outcome.
Below are some evidence-based resources for both parents and educators to help support those needs.
Communicating with the school
Building a positive relationship with your child’s school community is the foundation for your child to flourish at school. There are different ways to do this; some of them are more formal with written education and behaviour plans that are very structured. Others are less so, with lots of informal conversations and support for your child that is not dictated by process.
Either way, there are three critical factors for a positive relationship:
- A regular, clear and transparent exchange of information between you and your child’s teachers.
- Ensure that mutually agreed goal setting (whether they be big or small) is part of your child’s ongoing development
Build relationships with other key school staff such as Support Learning Officers, office administrative staff, deputies and principles etc.
Both you and your child’s teachers need to discover how your child learns, and you need to do this together.
What factors help or hinder your child’s capacity to learn? How do they learn in the classroom, in the playground, while playing sport, learning music or doing art?
This is a gradual and evolving process that will also change as your child grows.
Some things will work, and others won’t. It won’t all be smooth sailing. When things go awry, make sure problems are addressed quickly and openly. When goals are achieved make sure they are celebrated.
Remember you are your child’s greatest advocate and champion.
Educational advocacy & rights
We recognise that sometimes, even with the best mindset and investigation, it still might be a challenging process to find a school that best meets your child’s individual needs.
There are some valuable sources for information and educational advocacy in case families need extra support and counsel.
Bullying can have a horrible effect on its victims, and children and teens with special needs are at particular risk of being targeted.
Below are some valuable resources that can be leveraged by parents/carers, teachers, and young people themselves to help prevent and address bullying.
We appreciate that links alone cannot solve this crisis. It requires the commitment from families, communities, and schools — especially our schools — to insist upon a “No Tolerance” policy toward bullying while promoting an environment that is understanding and accepting of differences.