22nd September 2014
PEAT EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH AUTISM WHO ARE AT RISK OF EDUCATIONAL EXCLUSION
Following funding from The Big Lottery Fund PEAT, who work province-wide have completed Year 1 of a project to promote educational inclusion for young people aged 8-20 who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder and are facing some sort of disengagement from their education.
PEAT is the Northern Ireland Autism Charity employing appropriately qualified professionals to deliver services using evidence-based practice for positive behaviour support in family homes, in schools and other facilities.
Four in 10 parents surveyed by the charity Ambitious about Autism for its ‘Ruled Out’ campaign reported that their autistic child had been illegally barred from attending school during the previous year; one in 10 of them said it happened everyday!
Through Big Lottery Funding PEAT’s project has provided support to many young people with ASD who have had difficulties attending school due to social anxiety, depression, fear of leaving the house, perfectionism, sensory issues (sounds and noise) travel sickness, obsessive compulsive disorder, verbal and physical aggression, independent travelling, social skill deficits, difficulty staying on academic tasks and difficulty making and maintaining friendships at school.
Each of these behaviours or a combination of these behaviours have resulted in young people’s exclusion or refusal to attend school. For some young people academic or non-academic demands made by teaching staff have triggered disruptive behaviour and resulted in the young person being excluded from class. The reason for this is to enable peers to have their education without disruption however it is important for parents and young people to know that there is effective evidence based procedures based on the principles and procedures of Applied Behaviour Analysis that can be employed to enable young people to deal with each of these issues effectively without the requirement for them to be excluded from school on a long term or regular basis.
PEAT’s project officer for the educational inclusion project said “some schools are doing a brilliant job and with the right support, children and young people with autism do very well.”
So far this year PEAT have worked to reintegrate young people with ASD throughout NI who have been excluded from school and have put guidance in place that has enabled improved educational and behavioural support while they are at school. One grateful parent said,
“I really felt there was no way back, no one left to help, but the programme that was implemented by the Behaviour Analyst from PEAT has got my son back to school and he is a much happier boy, we are eternally grateful, thank you PEAT”
PEAT would like to hear from parents of young people with autism where behavioural difficulties at school are resulting in them being left out of educational activities or excluded from school.
To find out more about the project Click here to go to our dedicated project page.