Planet Rachael: schools need training to support pupils on the autistic spectrum

An improved understanding of children with autism is needed at educational establishments as ignorance could damage them, says Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson recollects her daughter's school days and the sensory challenges they faced, and believes schools need more training so they can support children with autism

Growing up my daughter Rachael was identified with 22 conditions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and probably about 200 that are not.

My favourite was oppositional defiant disorder, which basically meant she said ‘no’ to people in authority a lot.

She also has sensory processing challenges and often took action to avoid sensations she found intolerable. Rachael would whack people over the head with hymn


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