Autistic children from ethnic minorities face ‘double discrimination’, claims National Autistic Society

Nearly a quarter of autistic children from black and minority ethnic communities have been excluded from school and face “double discrimination” in the education system, a report by the National Autistic Society reports.

It found that more than half of parents from ethnic minorities with autistic children did not have a choice of school, while 78 per cent said their local education authority did not provide support to their children during exclusion.

BME parents were also “significantly” less satisfied with their child’s academic and social progress compared to their white counterparts, the report on education, autism and ethnicity found.

There are currently around 11,000 BME children with autism in England and Wales, but there are “very few” projects to raise awareness of autism in BME communities, the report said.

Recommendations included getting councils to monitor number of children in their area including their ethnic background in order to plan services more effectively, and better training for teachers to work with BME children with autism.

Prithvi Perepa, BME development officer for the National Autistic Society said: “It is the right of all children in the UK to access a full education. As a society we must ensure that children from BME communities do not lose out. All children must be able to access appropriate support and a range of educational provision in order to ensure that their individual needs are met.”

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