For some autistic children being in a school environment can be extremely challenging. There are many different reasons why a child may not be able to go to school, such as bullying, anxiety about lessons or feeling overwhelmed by the environment.
If it’s difficult to talk to your child about their anxiety, it may be a good idea to speak to the school’s SENCO or a class teacher to find out more about the situation. If your child is likely to be absent from school for more than a few days, you should also speak to your GP or a mental health professional and get a medical certificate.
You may feel that your child is unhappy at school because their needs are not sufficiently met. In that case, you may be able to request an assessment for an education health and care plan (EHCP). This is a legal document that sets out your child’s needs and how they need to be supported. If your child already has an EHCP, this plan may need to be amended, as the child’s support needs may have changed.
When a particular school environment is not right for your child, you may consider changing schools or educating your child at home. There may also be the option for education otherwise than at school (EOTAS), where the local authority arranges and pays for educational provision in a different setting.
Find out more advice on what you can do if your child can't go to school, by clicking on the links below.