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'27% of autistic people' needs not met by supermarkets

Some 27% of autism sufferers want supermarkets to be more aware of their condition, a charity has found.

Data released by the charity Dimensions found:

  • Nearly a third of sufferers say they wish supermarkets were more autism friendly.
  • Some 32% want restaurants to be more ware.
  • A further 17% feel their needs are not met when going to the leisure centre
  • And 10% want shops to be better with autistic customers.

Charity: Greater understanding of autism needed

The public do not understand the difficulty some autism sufferers have completing every day tasks and more needs to be done to make them aware, a charity has said.

17-year-old autism sufferer Josh Edwards outside the GMC in 2010. Credit: PA

Statistics released exclusively to Daybreak exposed the lack of understanding most people had of autism and the effect it has on a sufferer's ability to communicate.

Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning symptoms present themselves with different severity.

Some sufferers experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours, while some 25% remain non-verbal for the whole of their life.

Schools 'have a duty' to follow 'strict rules' on exclusion

Schools are required to follow "strict rules" on excluding pupils, a spokesman for the department of education said.

The spokeswoman suggested data exposing the thousands of autistic children excluded from school every year was not in line with Government policy on pupils with special needs.

All councils must ensure children are educated in a placement which meets their needs, and we have been clear that schools have a duty to follow our strict rules when excluding pupils.

We are spending over £3.5 million on Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators in schools to provide targeted support to children with SEN, and have given the National Autistic Society £440,000 to provide advice to parents and teachers about how to support autistic children at school.

– A Department for Education spokeswoman


30% of parents 'asked to keep autistic child at home'

Three out of every 10 parents with an autistic child in the UK have been asked to keep them at home, a disability charity has found.

Ambitious About Autism found of the 70,785 children who have autism:

  • More than half of them were kept out of school by their parents who did not feel their child had the right support at school.
  • One fifth (20%) had their child formally excluded from school in the last twelve months.
  • Two fifths (40%) of parents had been asked to collect their child at an unscheduled time.
  • The report also pointed out teachers were struggling with autistic pupils - 60% of educators felt they did not have enough training to deal with a student who had the disability.

Thousands of autistic children 'excluded from school'

Thousands of children with autism are being illegally excluded from school - partly because they are informally asked to leave the classroom for a few days - research has found.

Youngsters with the developmental disability are being asked to miss school trips, come to lessons part time or stay at home altogether, according to charity Ambitious about Autism.

Many autistic children are educated on part-time hours, researchers said. Credit: PA

Researchers from the charity spoke to 500 families, 1000 school staff and local councils to find how many autistic children were being excluded from school.

It found that four in 10 children with autism have been informally excluded from school temporarily - an illegal practice.

Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: "All schools are legally bound to provide quality full-time education to all pupils, including children with autism.

"Asking parents to collect their children early or putting them on part-time hours is against the law and fails to address the underlying need for schools to make reasonable adjustments to include children with autism."

Early signs of autism 'found in first months of life'

The early signs of autism can be identified in the first months of life, according to new research. Scientists used eye-tracking technology to measure the way infants look at and respond to social cues.

We found a steady decline in attention to other people's eyes, from two until 24 months, in infants later diagnosed with autism.

– Dr Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, US

Children later diagnosed with autism showed a reduced tendency to notice the gaze of other people from the age of two months onwards.

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