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February 2008

e-newsletter: February 2008

Welcome to the February edition of the Autism Education Trust e-newsletter.

In this edition:

• News of AET events across England
• AET granted additional funds by DCSF
• AET Research update
• AET ‘vision’ and ‘mission’ statements published
• Advice about planning family days out

Thank you for your continued support and best wishes,

Judith Kerem
AET Project Manager

Tell a friend…

Is there someone you think would be interested to hear about the AET? Please forward this newsletter to them and ask them to send us their details so we can keep them up to date.

AET goes on the road to raise awareness

The Autism Education Trust has planned a series of awareness raising events across England to inform parents, professionals and young people with autism about the work of the AET. We also want to involve a wider audience in the work of the AET by recruiting people to sit on the AET Advisory Council when it is set up later this year.

Events will take place in London (19 April), Newcastle (26 April), Birmingham (3 May), Manchester (17 May), Bristol (24 May) and Hull (31 May). The events will be free of charge and we are encouraging young people with an interest in becoming involved in the work of the AET to attend, as well as parents of children with autism. Children will be welcome at the events and professionally supervised play and activities will be provided, leaving time for parents to take part in discussions. Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Further information about the events will be posted on the AET website shortly and anyone interested in attending should email Judith Kerem as soon as possible to reserve a place. Places for the events will be limited due to capacity constraints of the venues so please book early to avoid disappointment. Priority will be given to those who were unable to attend the parliamentary launch event.

AET granted additional £35,000 to extend work programme

The AET has been granted an additional £35,000 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to extend its work programme in the first year. The extra money is in addition to the initial start-up funds of £125,000 granted by the DCSF in July last year as part of its commitment to improving education for children with special educational needs.

Schools Minister Andrew Adonis said;

“Improving the life chances of children with special educational needs and disabilities is an absolute priority for this Government. Having a disability like autism should not be a barrier to education, safety and achievement. The voluntary and community sector play a crucial role in supporting children with autism and their families, and that is why we are giving the Autism Education Trust a further £35,000 on top of the £125,000 we have already provided.”

Find out more information on this story.

AET research update

Research is underway at the Autism Centre for Education and Research, based at the University of Birmingham, to map existing autism provision across local authorities in England and to identify gaps. Mid-way research findings are expected at the end of February and more information will be posted on the AET website as soon as it is available.

AET publishes its ‘Vision’ and ‘Mission’ statements

In order to clarify its position within the autism sector, the Autism Education Trust has developed a form of words to describe its ‘vision’ and ‘mission’ – the things the AET stands for and what it hopes to achieve. You can read them in full on the AET website.

Spring is in the air: time to enjoy the outdoors again

It might seem a little premature in February to be talking about Spring but it’s worth planning ahead if you want to enjoy some supported activities with your family and children with autism. There is a fantastic range of possibilities across the UK and many places offer discounted rates for those with disabilities.

The National Autistic Society offers advice on choosing activities and planning ahead in its fact sheet ‘Families: ideas for days out’. See it online by visiting the NAS website or call the NAS helpline on 0845 070 4004 to request a hard copy.

Have Your Say

We are always keen to hear your thoughts and suggestions for the AET. Please visit the AET website and fill in the online form to tell us about your experiences of autism education. We want to hear from parents, young people with autism and professionals working in the autism education field.

Perhaps you know of a really good outreach team you would like to tell us about? Perhaps your school is very supportive and provides a range of pupil-centred initiatives to support learners with autism. Or perhaps your experience is not as positive? Have you struggled to access appropriate education for your child? Have you experienced bullying at school as a result of your autism?

Whatever your experiences, we would like to hear from you. You can provide us with useful first hand information to ensure our work is relevant and targeted.

Fill in our online form.

Further information

  • If you require advice and information about living with autism please visit The National Autistic Society website.
  • If you would like further information about autism education please visit the TreeHouse website.
  • The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) is the umbrella body for the disabled children’s sector in England, with links to other UK nations. For further information please visit their website.
  • We hope you would like to continue receiving the AET e-newsletter. However, if you do not wish to receive these updates in future please email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line. If you have received this newsletter via a third party and would like to be added to the regular mailing list please email the above address to subscribe.