Access and Inclusion for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Let Me In

By Matthew Hesmondhalgh and Christine
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 1 85302 986 6

This remarkable book tells the story of The
Resource, a unit dedicated to the inclusion of pupils with severe
communication disorders in King Ecgbert secondary school in
Sheffield. Established in 1994, The Resource has pioneered
inclusion for pupils who range in academic ability from severe
learning difficulties to genius level. The majority are labelled as
autistic. The authors are the head of the unit and a colleague.

The struggle to establish The Resource was
painful and tortuous. This practical text is packed with examples
of how those involved in the school – management, staff and pupils
– worked together to make The Resource an outstanding success. For
me, the most interesting chapters were on counselling and
integration into work. The counselling programme helps students
understand more about their autism, which is presented in a
positive way and celebrated as something special. Case studies
illustrate the issues that had to be confronted. Providing support
for students to gain work experience proved equally

This excellent book should be read by all who
want to understand how young people with autism can benefit from
inclusive education.

Oliver Russell is a consultant


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