This resource provides ideas, strategies and interventions which may be suitable for supporting and enriching the life experiences of a child or young person with autism across a range of social and educational environments.

Many schools already enjoy the benefits of a close working partnership and relationship with parents. They actively seek parental advice and support in the implementation of supportive strategies and wish parents to share their knowledge and insight into their child or young person. Research increasingly shows that when parents are involved with their child’s education, children do better. Effective partnerships are based on mutual trust and respect, and shared responsibility for the education of the children and young people.

This collaborative process and culture of inclusion for all, the child, the family and the school community brings with it challenges, but when this unique team works together, the improvements and development for all are apparent.

Building capacity successfully necessitates paying careful attention to the development of such relationships. Each member of this community needs to feel valued and the strengths of each recognised and utilised. Parental involvement is therefore an important lever for raising children’s achievements.

Successful child, family, school collaborations involve

  • recognising each partner, child, parent and teacher, as having equally valuable contributions to make, while respecting different contributions;
  • respecting the needs, preferences and individual learning style of each child;
  • addressing the barriers, perceived or actual, by families to involvement in schools and affording opportunities to encourage parents to see the importance of their role.
  • creating effective programmes, opportunities and learning for children and young people with autism;
  • contributing to professional satisfaction for principals and teachers by recognising their need for specific professional development.

Building capacity successfully necessitates paying careful attention to the development of such relationships.

Good, honest and open communication is the key to the development of positive working relationships and requires practitioners who listen to parents and are trusted by them… The quality of communication both reflects and is a reflection of the working relationships between professionals and parents. The worst communication generates significant levels of hostility… The best communication engenders impressive levels of confidence and a sense of partnership. (Lamb Inquiry, 2009)

All content in this resource is based on the Centre’s research and influenced by the transdisciplinary model which is informed by the Centre’s practice.