UK schools apparent discrimination against autistics

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ASPartOfMe
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17 Jul 2017, 4:58 am

Autistic teenager creates artificial intelligence but 'can't get school place'

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An autistic 13-year-old girl who has had to be educated at home for a year has created her own artificial intelligence.

It took Kari Lawler only a week to build her own virtual assistant, which operates on the same lines as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.

Yet, her parents say they are struggling to find her a school place, blaming a lack of understanding of the condition.
It’s incredible when you consider what the large technology companies have spent on producing something not very different to what Kari has managed to achieve in such a short space of time.

We are proud, but frustrated. She needs to be at high level education – in a grammar or independent school. But as soon as you mention the word ‘autism’ you hit a brick wall.

Kari was a pupil at Castle Bromwich Junior School, but the autism diagnosis at the age of 11 turned her school life upside down.

It came while Kari was preparing for the move to Park Hall Academy, Castle Bromwich.

As an autistic child, she was unable to partake in a number of group activities.

Parents Brett and Leanne pulled her out of the academy 12 months ago and this week met education chiefs in a bid to find a school for their daughter.

The resistance Kari is facing is solely down to a complete lack of understanding of autism.

Even though Kari has never had any learning needs, behavioural issues, communication or high-anxiety issues, schools we’ve approached just assume the worse based on stereotypes. They dismissively say ‘No’ without looking at her as an individual.

Kari wants nothing more than to be back in school, doing what she loves the most, which is learning.





No place for Autistic Barnoldswick bo

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AN autistic boy has missed out on 13 weeks of school after education chiefs struggled to find him a place, his mum claims.

Michael Bond, six, returned to East Lancashire from Scotland with mum Sarah Clarkson during the Easter holidays in April.

The youngster has autism, global development delay, a debilitating hearing disorder, and other issues which impact his speech and ability to socialise.

Miss Clarkson, who returned to her mum's home in Barnoldswick after fleeing an abusive relationship, has given up on her son getting a place this year but is hopeful Lancashire County Council will be able to provide a tutor during the summer holidays.

She said when she got a response she was told there are no school places available. Now weeks later she has been told they are still trying to find somewhere for him.

She said: "I spoke to another mum who had problems finding a place and she ending up getting provision through tutoring.

"I feel like they are not helping him. He is entitled to an education.

"Supposedly every child is entitled to an education but it feels like nothing is being done about it."

Michael, who did go to Pendle View Primary School in 2015 before moving to Scotland, was in full-time education in Edinburgh where he would spend some time in mainstream classes and others in a language unit which has extra support.

Miss Clarkson said: "It has been terrible in terms of his behaviour. It has not helped that we have not got a home sorted or the reason why we have had to move back to Lancashire.

Brendan Lee, the council's head of the special educational needs and disability service, said: "Whilst I cannot comment in detail on individual cases we work very hard to ensure that young people who move into the area receive the education that they need as soon as possible.

"That is not always straightforward as young people can have very specific needs and there are a finite number of suitable places available.

"There is an established process in place to find an appropriate school and that is still ongoing in this case."

As reported, thousands of parents across Lancashire have been issued with penalty fines for taking their children out of school during term-time.



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rowan_nichol
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17 Jul 2017, 11:52 am

To be a little provocative here.
Sending these people to school is a wicked waste of their time and likely to set them back quite seriously.



Goth Fairy
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17 Jul 2017, 12:16 pm

I'm not sure how this counts as discrimination. The first story says that the parents removed her from the school, not that she was kicked out.

The second story is of a mum who needs to suddenly change her child's school in the middle of the school year when all the places are already filled. I work with a child with complex special needs, and I know that it takes time to recruit the support staff needed, and get all the right funding in place. I would worry more if there were unfilled places in school in the middle of April.


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ASPartOfMe
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17 Jul 2017, 3:31 pm

The first case she is kind of gifted with no obvious issues until the autism diagnoses came up, suspicious. In the second case do they not have special needs staff in place? It is not like people never transfer in the middle of the year. I think they just did not want to make the effort and spend the money.


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CockneyRebel
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18 Jul 2017, 12:24 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
The first case she is kind of gifted with no obvious issues until the autism diagnoses came up, suspicious. In the second case do they not have special needs staff in place? It is not like people never transfer in the middle of the year. I think they just did not want to make the effort and spend the money.


There seems to be a lot of schools in the UK that don't want to make the effort and spend the money.


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18 Jul 2017, 1:25 am

That's not true, because if a UK school takes on a pupil with special needs, they actually receive more money. The pupil comes with a legal document stating their needs and the funding is provided to have those needs met. So the school where I work gets funding for a full-time teaching assistant of a certain level of qualification.
They have recently had problems because they are advertising for another specialist teaching assitant to support a pupil, but so far no one suitable has applied for the job.


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smudge
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18 Jul 2017, 3:18 am

In fact the schools tend to spend the money elsewhere instead of on that student. It is called an SEN - a Statement of Special Educational Needs.