What makes for good practice in education for girls and women on the autism spectrum?
- Consideration of time pressures
- Flexible timetabling
- Support – through peripatetic specialists, or buddy/peer systems
- Small class sizes
- Asking the student what they need support with, rather than prescribing support based on assumptions
- Checking for understanding rather than assuming it
What are the constraints on this good practice?
- A focus on behaviour rather than the underlying reasons for it when problems arise
- Lack of acknowledgement of individuals and parents as the experts
- Difficulties with unstructured time
- Social pressures and stigma
- Lack of consistency across classes, teachers and year groups
- Sensory problems, for example with bells, busy corridors and uniforms
- No allocated space for break and lunch times
- Issues with peers when treated differently by teachers
How could these constraints be overcome?
- An understanding of ‘burnout’ and the need for downtime
- Providing flexible scheduling
- Support to develop life skills and self-management skills
- Using positive role models and examples of good practice