Autism Education Roadshow comes to London


London will be the final stop for a national roadshow of education conferences designed to help teachers and other professionals learn the tools and strategies they need to support children with autism effectively.

Around 71,500 people living in London have autism, which includes more than 13,000 school-aged children. 

The Education Roadshow has been developed in collaboration between The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for people affected by autism, and Axcis Education Recruitment, the SEN teaching and support recruitment specialist.

A recent survey from the National Autistic Society (NAS), which launched the charity’s Great Expectationscampaign on Special Education Needs, found that just half of parents (52%) who have a child with autism feel they are making good educational progress.  The research also revealed that 7 out of 10 parents found it difficult to get the educational support their child needs, and while they waited and fought for the right support, their child’s educational progress (69%), mental health (60%), behaviour (68%) and self esteem (68%) all suffered enormously.

Parents and young people both agree that a good knowledge of autism helps meet children’s needs.  However, 43% of young people with autism felt their teachers don’t know enough about the condition.

Luke Dicker, autism awareness speaker and an adult with autism, said: “My school career was a nightmare – I felt that I’d landed on an alien planet. I didn’t understand the rules of being sociable, why I behaved differently and why the things I said caused offence. People with autism often need support to enable them to communicate their thoughts and feelings. For me, getting the right help completely transformed my life. I hope that sharing my experience can inspire change. One person with understanding made all the difference to me, so imagine what lots of people can achieve.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the NAS said: “Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition and is a lot more common that most people think.  Parents and young people agree that knowledge of autism, more than anything, helps children's needs to be met in school and many teachers also tell us that they would like more training in autism.  We hope that this series of conferences developed in association with Axcis will empower teachers and professionals to ensure that children with autism in the education system are supported in the best way possible, to help them go on to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.”

The London Autism Education Conference will take place at the Wellcome Collection Conference Centre, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE on 28 March.