Last year I wrote about World Autism Awareness Week, in particular the problems faced by school pupils with autism when confronted by teachers who are ill-equipped to deal with issues that arise.
Autistic pupils are three times more likely to be excluded from school as pupils with no special education needs, with the most common reason given by head teachers being physical assault against an adult.
Disruptive behaviour can sometimes be attributed to pupils’ autism (and therefore disability) and excluding a pupil exhibiting such behaviour could amount to discrimination arising from a disability, which is unlawful.
Obviously the ability of pupils with autism to be educated to the same degree as others could well be under threat if facing the prospect of exclusion through no fault of their own, which is unacceptable.
All the more reason, therefore, for teachers to be adequately trained in how to deal with pupils who have autism.
I know that Edinburgh City Council does provide such training but the statistics show that there is more work to be done.