World Autism Awareness Day: Education System Fails To Support Children With Autism

By Ellainie Calangian, Parent Herald March 28, 09:50 pm
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Not many people are aware of how the U.S. educational system is overlooking the support that children with autism need. Due to the lack of encouragement, majority of autistic children are having diffficulties in coping with school. The American education system seems to lack awareness as well as initiatives that help cater to the needs of children with autism, among other disabilities. 

This then hinders their progress and growth, preventing them from attaining greater heights of success in life. In fact, 86 percent of children with autism who are lacking in support and having difficulties at schools, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Ruled Out

According to Mirror, 1 out of 10 children with autism had been excluded from attending school last year. In England, the number of school-age children with autism is more than 70,000, whereas 28,000 of them are not getting proper education they are entitled to. The school officials are the responsible for making the decisions in terms of inclusion.

The System Has Failed

The Age states that teachers are not fully equipped on discovering and enhancing the strengths of children with autism. The training of teachers is lacking with regard to attending to the "special needs" of children with autism.

"No two people on the autism spectrum are the same," said Chris Varney, a writer and diagnosed with autism who developed his strengths despite his disability. "But every person on the spectrum has strengths that can be channeled in their social interactions, community participation, education and employment."

"I have found that strengths of students with autism include our intense focus, memory retention, attention to detail and, for some, visual/linguistic perception," Varney continued. Furthermore, Chris cited that his school was able to enhance his strengths by building structures such as prompts, visual aids, recognition, reminders and adjustments, as compared to other schools.

It is reported that some schools do not teach the children with autism effectively and fail to challenge them enough. Teachers need more training on how to reach and cater to the special needs of children with autism. Meanwhile, there are some organizations and committees that are planning and funding the needs of students with the disability in regard to their education.

World Autism Awareness Day is on April 2. Varney is urging a call to everyone to provide time for children with autism and help nations, including Australia, to get the system right so that everyone will benefit.

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