'Parents should tell schools how to teach children with Asperger's,' Autism Cymru conference is told|
WREXHAM, Wales: Parents should tell schools how to teach children with Asperger's syndrome, according to Jacqui Jackson, a campaigning mother of seven whose four sons have all been diagnosed with different forms of autism.
Speaking at an Autism Cymru conference in Wrexham, Mrs Jackson said that parents knew best.
Describing her son Lukes school, she said: "I gave them solutions, rather than going in and saying: "What are you going to do about it?'"
Autism Cymru estimates that there are around 18,000 children and adults in Wales on the autistic spectrum, which affcts the way a person communicates and relates to others. People with Asperger's syndrome are often highly intelligent and Luke, 16, who was on stage with his mother, has written two books on the subject.
Mrs Jackson called for better awareness, saying that those who wanted to help often lacked understanding, while others made no effort.
"One teacher said: 'I know Luke is autistic, but when he comes to my class, he can leave his autism at the door'."
A conference delegate, Denise Hawkins, who manages an 11-pupil Asperger's unit at Argoed high school in Mold, Flintshire, said: "You have to work together. Parents often say: 'This is happening at home, what can we do?'"
Autism Cymru has been working with the Assembly government on an all-Wales strategy. A consultation document is expected in June.
(Source: Times Educational Supplement, March 18, 2005)