A quarter of autistic children wait over three years for school support

Disability Rights UK is reporting that one in four autistic children are left waiting for over three years to receive the support they need at school, leaving families “exhausted and on the edge of crisis”, according to a new report by the National Autistic Society.

Three quarters of parents polled by the charity said their child’s school did not fully meet their needs – double the dissatisfaction levels reported four years ago.

Parents also said they faced long battles trying to secure the right support for their children, with 57% waiting for more than a year and 26% waiting more than three years.

DR UK Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “There is a national crisis in education support for Disabled children. Time and time again we hear about exhausted families needing to fight tooth and nail to secure the most basic support. It shouldn’t be this hard. The Government must listen, and provide support systems that work and funding that meets need. The Government Green Paper on Special Education Needs and Disability is due to be published next year. Education can either set a child up for life, or, if it is not delivered in a way that meets a child’s specific needs, can ruin a child’s prospects for a lifetime.”