Autism and Schools

Even if autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed and treated early, autistic children usually spend a wretched time in school. Such kids are usually avoided by fellow students and are never involved in classroom discussions until specifically required. Scientists have found that children with autism spectrum disorder are thrice likely to be bullied by their neuro-typical peers or those who don’t suffer from the condition. Many autistic children drop out of school. For instance, in France, 87% autistic children join primary school. But among them, only 11% go on to attend lower secondary school, with less than 1% reaching upper secondary school.

In countries like the US and Britain, most autistic children attend regular school and are offered additional help from special educators and therapists trained to deal with such kids. Most education authorities prefer this approach. It’s much cheaper than setting up a special kids’ school. Parents too prefer their children to be taught alongside the non-autistic kids. But the fact remains that integrating these two groups of children is often a tall order. A recent study in the US has revealed that at least 60% of the teachers weren’t properly equipped to handle children with autism spectrum disorder. It often leads to sorrow and frustration. At least 75% of the parents of autistic children have complained that it’s never easy to get the proper support needed. Almost a similar percentage of parents said that their children suffered from low self-esteem and social skills. The mental health of these autistic children suffered as a result.

Teaching children with autism spectrum disorder is quite expensive. Special educators often have to work with the children individually. Fortunately, apps like “Just Match” and “Math on the Farm” have come as a big help to the teachers.

School, in most cases, is tough for autistic children. But it’s usually worse if they leave it midway. A social research institute in the US recently found that a little more than 20% of autistic persons in early 20s could live independently. Most of them are isolated in the areas they live. Only one in four autistic adults rued the lack of friends or invitation to social events. Many autistic people are comfortable with their own company that usually doesn’t have more than two or three persons. People with Asperger’s syndrome are 10 times more likely to contemplate suicide than neuro-typicals. Acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder in the mainstream society is still a fry cry.

Source by Kevin Carter

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