Monday, 4 April 2016

I Foresee The Same Rise In Autism As We’ve Seen In ADHD…

Two autism charities have released an open letter signed by more than 7,000 people calling for all teachers in England to be trained in autism, saying that without this children with autism risk being misunderstood and marginalised.
Yet more stuff teachers need to be trained in.

Remember when they were just expected to know how to impart knowledge?
Mark Lever, the chief executive of the NAS, said thousands of autistic children were being disadvantaged every year.
He said: “This is one of the reasons that children on the autism spectrum are four times more likely to be excluded than those without special educational needs.”
If their behaviour is such that they need to be excluded, does it matter what label they wear while doing so?
He continued: “We don’t expect teachers to be experts in autism. But a basic knowledge of the lifelong disability and where to go for extra help would make a huge difference to their students.
“For instance, many children on the autism spectrum are so sensitive to light or sound that an overhead light or humming computer can be physically painful and make it almost impossible to follow a lesson. Simple changes, like to the seating arrangement so the student is away from the light or letting them wear ear defenders, can make a huge difference.”
How are they supposed to hear lessons? Or fire alarms, for that matter?

But expect the rise in ‘autism’ to continue, once the benefit classes realise it’s a bona fide excuse for all sorts of misbehaviour.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obviously these charities are hoping to be able to dip their hands into the tax payers pocket. Fat salaries and huge pension pots all round, huzzah!

Anonymous said...

On the occasions when I've been informed that someone's child is 'on the autistic scale' the common factors have been a boring, complacent (or wholly absent)father, combined with an obsessive, fretful, rather neurotic mother.

I've also observed that such announcements tend to be delivered rather proudly, as though the kid has accomplished something.

The Stigler said...

What if we instead just trained up a relatively small number of teachers in autism. We could classify them as, I dunno. Special Educational Needs, and put them and the kids in schools that suit them. Has anyone thought of that before?

Antisthenes said...

"Remember when they were just expected to know how to impart knowledge? "

Yes and time that we returned to that basic because if they do more than that then they enter into the world of brainwashing. Children should be taught how to think not what to. Of course parents have no choice but to brainwash their children but there is a limit to how much and many parents do not consider that obligation and go too far.

Antisthenes said...

The Stigler. Correct me if I am wrong but were there not special needs schools but did not the progressives have them abolished so as not to stigmatise children. Like all progressive ideas well intended(or are they?) and good in theory but hopelessly useless in practice. The unintended consequences quite horrible like PC to stop hurting peoples feelings but ending up being a means to stop free speech and give them and the state more authoritarian control over us. Plus of course using tax payers money wastefully and inefficiently. The latter of course is definitely not a consideration that ever concerns them as their hand forever being stretched out and gimme the only English word they appear to know demonstrates.

Ed P said...

Considering the unemployable rabble emerging from our "education system", not all of whom could possibly have been "stigmatised" as autistic, I can't see what difference special teacher training would make.

The problem is less about minority special needs groups (often mis-diagnosed anyway), but more about the majority of children, let down by a politicised and rotten system.

So educate ALL teachers to teach again, rather than add some autistic-sensitivity training to those already incapable of imparting knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Classical autism is a horrible totally disabling condition: so called Asperger's/autism apectrum are not, they are just socially awkward people who need to get by without special status, extra funding, autism industry specialists. Time to walk away from special flowers whether ADHD, dyslexic or any other variety of disruptive special flower in the classroom. If being well socialised, polite and keen to learn were rewarded perhaps we'd see an increase in the proportion of pleasant, bright and kind children.

John M said...

Frankly when you consider the clear signals and behaviours that even mildly autistic children exhibit, I find it rather disconcerting that claims are being made that (a) Teachers don't recognise them and (b) many of these kids are being excluded undiagnosed.

Either a lot of these kids aren't actually autistic at all, or there are a lot of complete f**wits in the teaching profession

Macheath said...


The biggest problem here - and one frequently discussed among the three generations of teachers in my family - is that sensory overload, while a very real phenomenon for some ASD children, comes largely from avoidable and arguably unnecessary elements in the classroom.

Back in the 1930s and 40s, when my grandfather was teaching, classrooms were orderly and quiet places with few distractions, where pupils sat in rows and listened quietly to the teacher for much of the time - an ideal environment for those who would thrive amidst calm surroundings and predictable behaviour.

Today's classrooms, lavishly adorned with primary colours and irregular 'group seating', are full of the noise and bustle of 'active learners' multi-tasking; I seriously doubt the 'humming computer' can actually be heard above the resulting din. Add in the 'wacky' elements (coloured cards for children to brandish aloft, bean-bags thrown to a nominated speaker etc) designed to make lessons 'fun' (and pass Ofsted's more egregious requirements) and you have a recipe for disruption on the part of both the wilfully malicious and those unable to cope.

As you suggest, the most likely consequence is a conflation of the two and a vast increase in form-filling, paperwork and meetings with biscuits along with yet another excuse for inadequate parenting, ensuring that, as in so many other cases of state intervention, those with genuine need are competing with a vast horde of spurious claimants.

Trevor said...

An entirely foreseeable consequence of 'mainstreaming' pupils with these conditions rather than concentrating them in special schools is that staff in the remaining special schools become deskilled and lose expertise through lack of exposure, while mainstream teachers are exposed to pupils with exotic conditions - but not enough for them to develop any expertise (and in any case if they wanted to teach special children wouldn't they want to work in specialist provision?)

I know the idea was that 'funding' would follow individual children wherever in the system their parents wanted them to go, but experience and expertise can't always be bought. Specialist schools were stigmatised as being 'ghettoes' when in fact quite a lot of them were centres of excellence.

Anonymous said...

What Macheath said!

JuliaM said...

"Obviously these charities are hoping to be able to dip their hands into the tax payers pocket"

I suspect they are already buried up to the elbow...

"I've also observed that such announcements tend to be delivered rather proudly, as though the kid has accomplished something."

A lifetime on benefits and a handy excuse in court?

"Has anyone thought of that before?"

That'll never work... ;)

"Children should be taught how to think not what to. "

Spot on.

JuliaM said...

"So educate ALL teachers to teach again..."

That's an Augean Stables that even Gove couldn't clean out, though god knows, he tried...

"If being well socialised, polite and keen to learn were rewarded perhaps we'd see an increase in the proportion of pleasant, bright and kind children."

THIS!

"Either a lot of these kids aren't actually autistic at all, or there are a lot of complete f**wits in the teaching profession"

I'm not sure it needs to be 'either'...

"...sensory overload, while a very real phenomenon for some ASD children, comes largely from avoidable and arguably unnecessary elements in the classroom."

Yes! The 'free expression at all times' movement has a lot to answer for.