It’s believed that around 1 in every 68 people has a condition that places them on the autistic spectrum. And with that in mind, it’s never been more pressing to find schooling solutions that allow for the best possible outcomes for autistic and neurodiverse students. There’s no doubt that conventional approaches to schooling aren’t always suitable for autistic kids. So what might autism-friendly schooling look like? Here are some of the ideas that experts in the field are talking about today.

Hands-On and Additional Non-Academic Classes

In the world of education, there’s often a tendency to focus too much on academics and the task of passing written exams. As a result, we’ve seen vocational and practical classes fall by the wayside in recent decades. Home economics, construction, and a range of crafts have all ceased to be taught in many schools. But hands-on and non-academic subjects are often very important to neurodiverse children and can be hugely beneficial to their learning.

Using Technology for Greater Visual Learning

In special education, it’s generally considered that there should be more visual learning and a greater focus on learning through technology. Autistic children tend to be more visual learners, and that’s why the use of technology both by them and the people educating them is so important. It’s also true that children with high-functioning autism tend to have very good computer skills and technological literacy.

An Understanding of Neurodiversity

Of course, it’s also important that the people involved in the schooling of autistic children on a day-to-day, hands-on basis have an understanding of neurodiversity and what it might mean. It’s why many parents of autistic children send their children to a special education school. But it’s also valuable to have teachers in regular schools who can understand neurodiversity in their classrooms.

Collaboration Between Schools

Collaboration between special education schools and mainstream schools can be beneficial to both parties. When schools collaborate and work together closely, they can share resources and create programs that allow children from different backgrounds and situations to interact better. They can all meet like-minded people and share learning experiences in a way that doesn’t happen currently.

Taking Regular Input from Parents/Caregivers

It’s also very important to ensure schools that teach autistic children have lots of input from and communication with the parents and caregivers of those children. The needs of neurodiverse children vary hugely, and things can change. Understanding these things is important and it’s something that can only really be done by working with parents and caregivers. One idea being considered and implemented in some schools is a committee made up of parents and caregivers, which can then interact with teaching staff in a more formalized way.

Schooling is vital for all children. It’s especially vital to take into account the needs of neurologically diverse students when planning education strategies and providing schooling specifically designed for autistic children. Each of the ideas discussed above is already gaining traction in many of the most forward-thinking schools around the world.