Respecting autistic identity in schools and education

By Press Release May 13, 2024

Families with autistic children on the Island are getting more help thanks to a new initiative.

The IW Youth Trust have been commissioned to hold events for parents and carers of autistic children as part of the RAISE (Respecting Autistic Identity in Schools and Education) project.

RAISE is part of a nationwide project ‘Autism in Schools’, funded by the NHS, that aims to reduce the numbers of exclusions, suspensions and hospital admissions of autistic children and young people. ​

Locally, the initiative is organised collectively with the IW Youth Trust, the NHS, AIM (Autism Inclusion Matters), Parents Voice and the project name was chosen by young people who AIM work with.

No official diagnosis is required in order to get involved with the RAISE project.

The goal is to promote positive autistic identity, increase understanding of autism and the related reasonable adjustments that support autistic students’ mental health, and break down barriers to attendance at school.

Coffee mornings were held in January and March and enabled parents and carers to connect, network, share experiences and meet professionals. The morning proved to be very successful.

One parent said: “It was very useful information and really helpful to meet other parents and share experiences.”

In addition to the coffee mornings, a series of parent information sessions are being held at the IW Youth Trust to help parents and carers in supporting their autistic child diagnosed or on the assessment pathway.

The first of these have now taken place but there is still an opportunity to sign up to the next sessions which start on May 24 and run for four weeks.

Each session focuses on a different topic; Autism and Anxiety, Communication and Sensory Processing, Transitions, Routines, Bedtimes and Behaviours and Masking, Meltdowns/Shutdowns and Autistic Burnout.

Parents/carers will need to attend all four sessions and these must be booked via iw.observer/autismsupport.

You can find out more about the RAISE project by emailing info@iowyouthtrust.co.uk