Education and learning


SPELL is a framework for understanding and responding to the needs of children and adults with autism.              It stands for Structure, Positive approaches and expectations, Empathy, Low arousal, Links.           Click icon to find out more.


Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) is another broad brush approach to working with children or adults with autism.             It has more to do with values and priorities than specific techniques.           Click icon for more detail.            The NAS Early bird programme draws on the TEACCH approach.            See also:  Autism UK       Wikipedia

Total communication

Options group have produced a helpsheet about the development of communication skills in people on the autism spectrum.           The author is a specialist speech and language therapist.             Click icon to view.


Early Years

At ages 3-4 ALL children qualify for 15 hours a week free education.               Some may also qualify for free places aged 2.
See also:  national guide.

Choosing a school

With mainstream schools, smaller ones may provide a more calm and adaptable environment for pupils with additional needs.

For in-depth information, guidance and support with the issues and procedures involved in choosing a school, mainstream or specialist, click on the icon below:

Ambitious logo

For children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs a more specialised environment is offered by schools for additional needs.              Here is a guide to choosing a special school.              Parents in the Grantham area might find a place for their child at:

  • Ambergate Sports College & Sandon School (GANF)                  Grantham                  F-footer            Twitter small icon
  • The Phoenix Academy Trust                                                            Grantham
  • Gosberton House School                                                                 near Spalding
  • See also Wider area schools                                                            East midlands and beyond

For those referred by their local authority there are residential schools.

National Autistic Society            Cambian Group            Eagle House Group             Linkage College

Challenging Behaviour Foundation

NASNAS small icon

  • The National Autistic Society has published guides under the heading In Education about choices, extra help, bullying, exclusion, jargon, further & higher education and transition.               Click icon to browse.
  • In particular one of these guides sets out how to get extra help in mainstream school / college.                See Extra help.

Getting things sorted

Getting what your child needs often puts parents up against difficulties and obstacles.               Professionals may try to fob you off to begin with suggesting that things might sort themselves out – perhaps partly because they do not see your child at home.                 There are waiting lists for much needed services and the solutions may not be easy to identify.               Here is a small selection of cases on the internet.
See also:  More tips.

  • Discussion about a 2½ year old with delayed speech.         “When you go to the GP, they may ask you questions about social interaction, e.g. does he bring you things to look at, does he point, will he engage in play together etc.      It’s worth having a think about these questions before you go.”                 “In my opinion 12 months is far too long to wait for assessment, and sadly not unusual.”
  • Discussion about a son about to start primary school.          “If your gut instinct still says he’s wrongly allocated then raise the issue, ask to visit other schools, inc those with an ASD unit attached + those who are autism specific.      If you find 1 which is suitable, then pursue it.       It can be a battle but ultimately it’ll be for the best for all of you.”
  • Discussion about getting help at school without EHCP.          “SEN Support can be an interim measure while you’re waiting for an EHCP.”
  • Discussion about incident at school. One reply recommends making an official complaint with supporting documentation.              “I would document everything you said about regarding what you asked for, what you were told by who, when, and keep a record of it all that you can copy to everyone involved.”                Another reply recommends using social stories.

School Transport

Cereba, the UK based charity, has produced a booklet about School Transport.            It lays out the basis for the local authority to decide whether a child cannot reasonably walk to school.             See also Cereba website.

And then he fell off the cliff

Experience     And Elliot… he is in school for the first time in too long even though he still doesn’t have a useable EHCP.      He is finally getting the support he needs despite the special education needs system rather than because of it …

Schooling problems

High-functioning children can be very resourceful, but it may take some time for them to get on top of things.

School refuser:  Read about the experience of a  Teenage girl  and a  Teenage boy .        They show very different approaches on the part of the parents.       Both are taken from the same on-line  Discussion .

Learning to read:   In this case things suddenly clicked at the age of 7.

Statements of special educational need (SEN):   Here is an on-line discussion about a Refusal to assess for a statement.

Exclusions:   Grantham has a pupil referral unit called Hill View Education Centre.        The Ofsted report for the year 2000 is a handy source of information.         It states, “The Grantham Pupil Referral Unit caters for boys and girls aged 11 to 16 who are currently having difficulties in their own schools or are excluded from them.         It serves a large area of South Lincolnshire with some pupils traveling distances of over 20 miles to the unit”.

Secondary school:   One of our committee members says,  I found my first year at Kings’ School a bit intimidating.    There were quite a few in my class who were clearly much more clever than me.       I was much more comfortable in the second year, having been put in a class based on my grades at the end of the first year.

SEN Code of practice:  If you are facing problems with education, this document might help.             It sets out the rules that people such as teachers and education officials are supposed to follow.             It is a long, but it can tell you what your son or daughter is entitled to, by law.


GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.