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The transition to secondary school can be a daunting time for parents of autistic youngsters, as well as children themselves. Have you selected the right place? What if staff don’t really understand your child’s needs? Will they adapt sufficiently – and if not, then what happens?

The good news is that you have the ability as a parent or carer to address these concerns, rather than leaving it all to chance.

This book will give you the tools to do just that. From choosing the right school for your child (and spotting the tell-tale signs of the wrong one), to preparing both your child and the new school for the transition, to overcoming barriers and building a positive, collaborative and effective relationship between home and school. Tackling key topics from the point of view of both parent and teacher and using examples of great practice, this contains everything you need to know in order to build a more positive secondary school experience for your child.

Reviews

Debby and Gareth have written a vibrant, knowing and pragmatic resource for parents and schools supporting autistic children leaving primary education. Well-observed, intuitive accounts of everyday challenges and novel situations are supplemented by useful links to more specialised guidance and research, making a highly readable companion for the journey to secondary school founded on principles of respect and relationship.
Barney Angliss, education consultant and trainer, former SENDCo, mentor to autistic teens
In this marvellous book, Debby Elley and Gareth Morewood show how it is possible to have better school experiences for autistic pupils, their families and carers and the teachers and leaders who work with them. This is a big ask, but they have pulled it off. There are no quick fixes promised, however its grounded, common sense, compassionate and practical approach will be a boon for all involved in the education of autistic teenagers. The mantra of ''prevention is better than cure' is great advice for all, and the examples, case studies and sensible charts have the potential to make all schools more responsive to making reasonable adjustments for all pupils, including those with special needs. This book is honest, practical, down to earth , it is very moving and also very funny! I highly recommend it.
Mary Myatt, education writer and curator of Myatt & Co
Debby and Gareth radiate an air of optimism, practical common sense and above all a belief that successful inclusion of children with autism can be achieved.
Peter Vermeulen
This is an outstanding book which should be essential reading for parents of autistic children who attend (or will attend) a mainstream secondary school. More broadly, it is a book that can inform the practice of all school staff and allied professionals who support autistic young people. Written with wit and verve, it is packed to the brim with insights and recommendations from the authors' extensive experience as both parent (Debby) and practitioner (Gareth). A remarkable achievement.
Neil Humphrey (Sarah Fielden Chair: Psychology of Education, University of Manchester)
I read the book as a mother of two autistic boys and also a SENCO. It is an honest well written perspective combining pupil experiences, strategies, research , good practices and policies when considering mainstream education for secondary age pupils. Championing Your Autistic Teen at Secondary School highlights the need for a school culture that predicts triggers and work in an inclusive manner by being proactive rather than reactive.
Taneisha Pascoe-Matthews, Assistant Headteacher /SENCO and mother of two autistic boys
This book is truly collaborative, bringing together Debby's, Bobby's and Gareth's experience as parent, pupil and SENCO in a busy secondary school. With excellent advice at every step, this book is a masterclass of collaboration and co-production that every secondary school could use as a template. I love the advice for parents and schools alike and all this is supported by the pupil voice at its heart.
Lynn McCann, Autism Specialist Teacher, Trainer and Author
Elley and Morewood have created a wonderful template for Parents and Educators to follow; allowing both parties to recognise the barriers faced by young Autistic learners, advocate for them in education settings, and empower Parents and Educators to work together collaboratively to remove those barriers.
Kieran Rose, Autistic Writer, Trainer and Consultant; www.theautisticadvocate.com