Make SEN/EHC Plans accessible for ALL children with ASD. ALL children with ASD be offered CBT in school. All teachers better taught in understanding & teaching children on the Autistic spectrum.

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Make Sttement of Eduational Needs/EHC Plans accessable for ALL children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). All children with ASD should be offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in school. All teachers to be better taught in understanding and teaching children on the autistic spectrum.

Being a mother of a child with Aspergers Syndrome, I understand the struggles faced by many children and their families in trying to access appropriate support and interventions. The current SEN system and the new Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) which was implemented in september 2014, only includes children who have learning disabilities.

I have heard from many families who care for an individual with Asperger's sydrome, as well as adults on the spectrum themselves, who have recieved no additional support while growing up. These children are made to struggle through the mainstream education system with very little or no support. Many of these children therefore suffer with depression and anxiety, with many attempting suicide during their High School years because they feel unable to cope. More often than not these children are also the target of school bullies.

Children with Aspergers syndrome are usually of average or above average intelligence, but still struggle with the same traid of impairments as those with 'classic' autism. These daily challenges include; difficulties in socialising, anxiety, hyper/hypo sensitivities, difficulties picking up on social cues and the interpretation of body language including metaphors and jokes. Now please try to imagine how difficult a normal school day is for these children. Crowded corridors, noisy classrooms, changes, language barriers, strip lighting and lots of stimulation can all be too much to bear which in turn can cause meltdowns, aggression, anxiety and depression.

Aspergers syndrome is a lifeong condition; it cannot be cured. However, with early intervention these children can cope better and live a much more fulfilling life. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been reported to be very beneficial to both children and adults who are on the Autistic spectrum, so therefore it is felt that if this therapy was offered to children with an ASD in school, then the benefits would greatly outweigh the costs.

It is crucial that ALL teachers are properly trained in teaching children on the Autistic spectrum. It is widely known that teachers are only given the minimum training needed in this area. The number of children who are now being diagnosed with an ASD is n the rise and these same children desperately need support and need it now



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