Autism - Education Law

Help and Advice with Education and Schooling Requirements for Autistic Children

Parents of children with special educational needs, such as autism may find it challenging to ensure that their child gets the best education possible for them. Below are some key points about the challenges of children with autism and what we can do to help.

Autsim, Access to Education

What is autism?

Autism is a processing disorder which affects a child's social abilities. It also affects how they process their surroundings.

What difficulties might my child have?

There are three main issues relating to autism:

  • Social Communication – Problems such as understanding facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and subtleties like sarcasm, idioms, and jokes.
  • Social interaction – Problems understanding other people’s emotions and expressing their own, and may play by themselves rather than with others.
  • Social imagination – Problems understanding and predicting other people's behaviour, and other situations, for example, they may run into a busy road or not understand how something they have said offends someone.

This can result in problems at school, such as:

  • Struggle to understand instructions
  • They may be worried and upset if their routine changes suddenly
  • Behaviour that is inappropriate to a particular situation
  • Children with autism may be victims of bullying and isolation, which could cause problems itself

Autistic children may also have other learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, which could require specific support itself.

What educational support does a child with autism need?

  • A well structured routine
  • Clear, unambiguous communication, possibly using visual aids
  • A quiet learning environment
  • A teaching assistant could help ensure your child understand tasks they’ve been given
  • Support at break time
  • Structured activities during breaks and special learning equipment

Your child may need additional support for specific needs, including:

  • Speech therapists
  • Support with social communication skills
  • Occupational therapists
Education Solicitors - fixed fees available

How can we help a child with autism?

There may be problems with getting your child a SEN statement. This involves getting a statement of special educational needs that is appropriate to your child.There may also be problems ensuring that the statement is followed by a school or local authority. This may require contacting the local authority or appealing to a tribunal.

We can help by completing paperwork and gathering evidence, so that we can discuss the matter with the local authority, on behalf of your child, and if necessary, represent you and your child in a tribunal hearing. This relieves some of the burden, allowing you to focus on your family.

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Chambers and Partners 2017

"Stellar education team representing private and legal aid clients in a range of complex issues. Particularly well known for its expertise in assisting young adults with learning difficulties, admissions and exclusions and judicial review cases."

"Angela Jackman is an erudite education and community care lawyer with a focus on complex SEN matters. Sources say: 'Her judgement really stands out and she has great depth of experience.'"

"Head of department Imogen Jolley has a strong track record handling admissions and exclusions appeals on behalf of parents. She is described by commentators as 'very accessible, knowledgeable and easy to work with.'"

"Dan Rosenberg is praised for 'his impressive knowledge, technical nous and personability.' He is particularly adept in complex judicial review proceedings involving the provision of education to children and young people."

Find out more

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you by completing our, no obligation, online enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us on freephone: 0808 129 3320.


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Imogen Jolley - Education Law Solicitor | Simpson Millar| Lancaster

Imogen Jolley
Partner, Head of Education & Community Care

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