Is your child Autistic? Do you think they are receiving the right education appropriate to their needs?
So often we hear from parents that their child is miserable at school or under achieving. When we ask why, they invariably say that the school is not equipped to support their child. There is no doubt that teachers in schools want to help Autistic children but they simply do not have the resources or often the specialist training to meet their individual needs. State school systems are designed for mass education where all pupils are expected to look the same, behave the same and attain the same. This is not a criticism but a statement of fact. If your child is different they will never fit in any mass education model because they are incapable of being the same as everyone else. We see this difference as wonderful while schools view it as an expensive and insurmountable problem - which it undoubtedly is within a mass education model.
Schools are of course under huge pressure to deliver top grades to as many pupils as possible and this means that Autistic children and others with individual educational or health needs are effectively marginalised. The fact is that a teacher can spend a whole lesson supporting one child with special educational needs and the same teacher has 30-35 other pupils needing their support. While school leaders and Governments have to say they can support all pupils and that no child will be left behind, Autistic children are routinely being left behind.
We have spent the last 18 years working with local authorities up and down the UK to support pupils with a range of special educational needs and disability. Funded programmes to study GCSEs, Level 2 and 3 vocational courses (including Art, Design, Music, Computer Science, most other subjects etc.) A Levels and Foundation Diplomas have been successfully completed by Autistic children. We expect all of our pupils to succeed in reaching their personal potential and we don't put a time limit on this; all of our courses can be extended annually. This means the usual school or college pressure to pass courses in a year or two does not exist for our pupils. Such pressure only makes things worse for Autistic pupils so why add unnecessary pressure and contribute to higher rates of failure for Autistic pupils?
Our caring, friendly, highly trained expert teachers teach children entirely online from their home, from schools, colleges, pupil referral units. The online environment is particularly ideal for many children on the Autistic Spectrum (ASD) because everything stays the same every day. As parents of ASD children tell us that their child finds the school environment intolerable and confusing because it is constantly changing. Something as everyday as a teacher asking an Autistic child to sit at a different table can cause huge disruption or even a complete meltdown. The online environment stays exactly the same and all the resources are in exactly the same place. Additionally, the stress many Autistic children suffer associated with figuring out social cues evaporates in our online classes, creating a much more purposeful and calm place to learn. All of our lessons are conducted in real-time in quiet and predictable online classrooms where pupils need not speak or be seen (optional). All of these lessons are then video-recorded and can be accessed and played back as many times as the student requires, so if they missed something or didn't understand something they can see it explained again and again if necessary. Having this level of personalised support gives our Autistic children a real chance of success in attaining national qualifications in most popular subjects.
Many of our ASD pupils have successfully completed and passed their IGCSEs, A Levels and Vocational qualifications and progressed to University and careers so we know that online education is definitely the way to go for many!
To receive a funded place* on our courses or at our online school, ask your local authority or school for an EHC plan, and add Cambridge Online Education Ltd to it as your chosen educational provider. Many ASD children have done just that, so why should your child not be afforded the same opportunity?
We are so sure your child will love the way we teach that we offer free trials on all of our courses so why not arrange one now - absolutely no obligation to continue with us - contact us now - 01223 637029 / 01438 488829
* While most Local Authorities will fund school places / courses it is at their discretion. Got to be worth a try though :-)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Troy Page is Director of Cambridge Online Education - Doctor of Education and passionate campaigner for the rights of children to an appropriate education