A quiet space in every school for children with autism.

A quiet space in every school for children with autism.

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SUSANNA TOWERS started this petition to The Rt Hon Damian Hinds

A Quiet Space

I am the mother of an eighteen-year autistic young woman. Like many people on the autistic spectrum, my daughter has sensory difficulties. At times she is overwhelmed by noise, lights, touch, smell and temperature. At these times, she needs a quiet and safe environment to calm herself and let her senses re-balance.

The school environment can be very difficult for a child or young person with autism. The bright lights, loud voices and crowded corridors can become overwhelming. At the age of fifteen, my daughter became unable to cope with the hustle and bustle of the school environment. The school was unable to provide a safe, quiet space where my daughter could calm herself in order to cope with the rest of the school day. As a result, my daughter has spent the last three years out of school.  

Many autistic children need a quiet and safe space to deal with sensory overload. A little time out in a quiet room can make the rest of the school day bearable. Unfortunately, in many schools the space for children with special educational needs is shared between pupils who need quiet to calm themselves and pupils who need to let off steam. Increasingly, children with autism are having to turn to home education because the school environment is not equipped to support their needs.

I believe that every school should be required to provide one room where pupils with autism and/or sensory difficulties can take a quiet break when their senses are overwhelmed. This doesn't mean that a new room would need to be built - it could simply be a classroom.

All children have an equal right to education. Please support my petition by asking the Secretary of State for Education to ensure that every school is required to provide one quiet space. This would enable many more autistic children to remain in education.

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At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!