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How can I find the right school for my autistic child?

As a parent, choosing the right school for your child can be very difficult, with a huge amount of pressure to choose a school that will be the right fit for your child. But it can be especially tricky when your child has autism and can make choosing a school a more challenging process for parents. You want to be able to choose the right learning environment for your autistic child where they can learn, thrive, and where their specific needs can be met. 


We have put together this short post outlining a few suggestions on how to find the right school for your autistic child, and what to take into consideration when visiting schools. First Bridge is an early intervention and ABA therapy centre for children with autism spectrum disorders and related conditions, based in West London. To learn more about our autism therapy services in London, visit our website for more information. 


Research potential schools


Ideally you want to put together a list of prospective schools that might be suitable for your child and do research into them by visiting their websites. You should be able to find a brochure or prospectus on the school’s website, and gain a general idea and understanding of the school. From their website, you should be able to learn about their curriculum, their SEND facilities, their staffing, ethos, and structure. From here, if you feel like a school could be a good fit for your child then contact them to arrange a private visit or to book on an open day. 


Arranging a visit to the school


We always recommend arranging a visit to several schools, so you can compare them and have a few different options to choose from. By visiting the schools, you can get a feel for the environment and their atmosphere, facilities and layout and indoor and outdoor spaces. It can also be a good idea to bring your child with you to see how they feel, and if they like it there. 


Ask autism-specific questions to the staff


When visiting the school, you want to be sure that the school will address and meet the needs of your child with autism. Consider what support your child may need in a school environment. Find out what help is available if your autistic child needs additional support, how integrated they will be in the classroom, if they have a qualified Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENC0), and what reasonable adjustments they can make for your child.


You want to be able to gain a full understanding of their SEND approach, and the pastoral care that they will be able to offer your child. The staff in the school you’re visiting should be able to give you full details on how they work with children with autism, and how they can support and guide your child through their studies. 


Trust your instinct


Sometimes you need to trust your instinct. You know your child best, and which school will suit them and their needs. We also recommend chatting with your child, and seeing how they feel about the school and if they would enjoy going there too.  If you feel like your observations from your visit to the school and the discussions with the staff made you feel confident about how they can look after, educate and support your child – then it could be potentially a good fit.


Supporting children with autism therapy in London


We support and educate children with autism spectrum disorder, social communication disorders, speech and language delays, and developmental delays with all programmes and curriculum being tailored to the individual needs of each child. We are committed to bridging the gap in essential services to children who require support and giving them the best chance of learning more effectively and leading a happy, independent, and fulfilled life. We provide specialist, compassionate autism therapy in West London through our leading team of professionals – supporting children between infancy and nine years old. 


If you think that your child could benefit from autism therapy in London, then why not start working with First Bridge


Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapy 


We specialise in delivering teaching, education and therapy to children utilising Applied Behaviour Analysis. ABA consist of evidence-based practice that has been derived through decades of scientific research. We believe that evidence-based therapy helps children to achieve important development milestones and learn the essential life skills that they need. 


We offer a number of therapy services including the Enrich 2 x 2-hour weekly sessions and our 12-week Grow course. ABA therapy sessions are delivered by our expert Board-Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA), and we offer our sessions through our centre-based therapy model which provides our children with the intensive and vital support that they need from our specialist centre.


Would you like further information on autism therapy services?

For further information on our autism therapy and education services, contact our specialist team at First Bridge. You can reach us by giving us a call on +44 (0) 20 3301 3985, or by sending us an email to admissions@firstbridgecentre.com and a member of our team will be more than happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or queries regarding our autism therapy services – our discreet, courteous team are always happy to help and answer any questions that you might have.