Autism, Access and Inclusion on the Front Line: Confessions of an Autism Anorak

Matthew Hesmondhalgh

Format: Paperback/softback, 160 pages, 9.13in x 6.22in / 232mm x 158mm
ISBN: 9781843103936
Price: $29.95

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Working towards greater access and inclusion in education and employment for young people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) continues to be a challenge with varying degrees of success.

Matthew Hesmondhalgh outlines the inherent problems with improving services for people on the autism spectrum, from specialised schooling to supported living schemes and examines the social issues and attitudes that people with ASDs confront in so many aspects of life. The author draws on his own experience of working at The Integrated Resource, which offers educational opportunities for secondary school aged pupils with ASDs and provides a charity funded supported employment programme for young adults with ASDs. He includes a host of case examples of young people and their parents who have fought battles for inclusion, explaining the obstacles they faced, their failures and their inspiring successes.

Autism, Access and Inclusion on the Front Line is a frank and honest appraisal of service provision for young people with ASDs that will both inform and encourage parents and professionals.


'Following on from Access and Inclusion for Children with ASDs, this is another excellent, highly readable volume. The lively description of the everyday successes and disappointments faced by Matthew Hesmondhalgh's students with autism as they move into adulthood takes the reader on a roller-coaster of joy and frustration. For the uninitiated, the book provides an insight and shows how imaginative strategies can provide a framework for success. Those of us who are, like Matthew, "autism anoraks" will be inspired to do something to improve the state of adult provision for people with autism.'
—The Teacher

'A young man finds work in an office, sorting mail and tallying the working hours of other employees. A young woman works in a dress shop. Another young man maintains contacts with people all around the world on the job. They are only a few of the people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) whom Hesmondhalgh, a teacher-in-charge of an ASD program within mainstream secondary school in the UK, describes in this refreshingly honest and bathos-free narrative. Hesmondhalgh also draws on his experience managing a supported employment program, giving a clear account of what it sometimes takes for people with ASDs to get an education, get employment, find housing, and live their own lives. He shows how, even in this supposedly enlightened age, society continues to erect emotional and financial barriers and makes convincing pleas for alternate funding and self-supporting programs.'
—Book News

'It's a good book for any parent ready to think ahead of what could and should be achievable. It's a must for any professional out there involved in decision making about the long-term future of people with ASD. For those holding the purse strings to funding and policy makers, it's an essential read.'
—Autism Matters

'An appraisal of service provision for young people with conditions on the autistic spectrum, which will interest professionals and families. The writer is honest about the problems to be found in efforts to improve services, and draws on a wide personal background in the field.'
—Current Awareness Service (BILD)

'Essential reading.'
—The Sheffield Autistic Society

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