Autistic children want to be understood and supported, with both strengths and differences recognised and accepted. Too frequently, the framing of autism is deficit-based, with a focus on what autistic children can’t do. The Children’s Commissioner reported recently that young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) delivered a clear message that they needed support that reflects their ambitions.
How strengths and differences are perceived plays a big role in how autistic children experience the world. Societal judgement can cause isolation and anxiety for many autistic people. It will take a collective effort of all stakeholders working with autistic children to promote understanding and acceptance, allowing for autistic children to feel a sense of belonging, which can enable them to achieve their goals.
My talk will explore autistic strengths and differences, outlining current good practices and other suggested strategies.
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