Autistic children in North homeschooled due to lack of services

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Autism NI calls for action as number of school-age children with diagnosis quadruples

MLAs two years ago called on former education minister Peter Weir to introduce mandatory autism training for teachers and classroom assistants in mainstream settings as 'a matter of urgency'.Increasing numbers of autistic children in Northern Ireland are being homeschooled as mainstream classrooms “aren’t fit to support their needs”, a charity has warned.

The charity’s concerns come a week after it emerged that more than 300 children with a statement of Special Educational Needs are without a school place for this September, including 91 who are waiting for a place in a special school and 202 seeking places in a mainstream school. The North’s Education Authority confirmed a “significant rise” in demand for special school places.

Ms Boyd told The Irish Times that inadequate training had led to more parents educating their children permanently at home. “That’s why mandatory teaching-training is so important. We want to see autistic children in mainstream education; we don’t want to see them segregated because in the future they will become autistic adults in society.


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