There are over half a million people in the UK with autism. It is a serious, lifelong condition that can be severely disabling if the right support is not given. Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school and 25% of children with autism are excluded from school, often more than once.
Despite the challenges many people with autism go on to achieve success, some making worldwide contributions. Nobel Prize winner for Physics, Albert Einstein was considered a loner and obsessively repeated sentences until he was 7 years old – signs scientists believe illustrated his autism. It is also believed that famous painter Andy Warhol was on the autism spectrum.
People with autism find these things difficult:
- Communicating with others about what they need and how they feel
- Integrating with others and making new friends
- Understanding what others think
Common behaviour of an autistic child
- They may not speak
- They may not understand what others say
- They may like doing/eating the same thing every day
- They may not understand how others feel
- They may copy what others say
- They may not take part in activities with others
- They may find it hard to ride a bike/use equipment
- They may excel in one subject
- They may learn things quickly when given examples
- They may have other learning difficulties
- They may love/hate particular sights, sounds, smells, tastes and being touched
How can Leaders are Readers help children with autism?
If your child is autistic and excels in Maths or English, we can develop their skills by placing them in a class best suited to their ability. As there are no more than 12 students in each class, the child will get extra attention and help in areas they find difficult. The teachers will also break tasks up into specific steps and give examples on the board as autistic and non-autistic children learn things quicker when given examples. Autistic children often find it difficult to follow long sentences and so the teachers write instructions on the board to aid these visual learners.
For the younger autistic children, we have our award-winning Reading Programme. Children with autism are often strong visual learners, so our visually rich phonics programme is ideal for them. The teachers use a variety of tools, including flash cards, which combine pictures with words to help the autistic child fully comprehend the lesson.