Stories of education and autism

These stories are generously shared by autistic people committed to creating greater understanding around ways we can all support an autistic person in a social, workplace and school situation.

Taken from Amaze’s annual Spectrospective initiative, this curated selection of stories from autistic people speaking about their educational experiences is illuminating and insightful. Stories of education and autism from the people who have experienced it – autistic students.

A curated selection of real stories of education and autism. Gathered from Amaze’s annual Spectrospective initiative, these stories present an illuminating and insightful human look at the educational experiences of autistic people. Some good, some challenging, some inspirational, some tear inducing. All amazing. All informative. All bringing us towards a greater understanding of the autistic experience in an educational context.

Read. Watch. Understand.

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Blake’s Story

Blake talks about the one voice and how helpful it can be for him in any learning situation – be it in class or at after school activities.

He learns much better when teachers use the one voice. Speaking in the one voice doesn’t confuse him and it allows him to concentrate on doing his classwork.

He explains that talking too loud and too quickly can hurt his ears and confuse him. He notes that he does himself – but when teachers do it in class it is like yells directly in his ears.

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Sophie's Story

With a BA in Music Theatre, actress and cabaret performer Sophie had an ‘awful time’ at school.

Consistently told that she had to ‘just fit in like everyone else does’, Sophie’s educators weren’t open to discussing what kind of simple adjustments could help her to achieve, and escape the continual cycle of bullying and isolation she found herself in.

Determined, focused and driven, her commitment to becoming a performer was what got her through school.

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Elise's Story

Now a personal trainer and mentor to young autistic people, finishing high school was something Elise thought would never be possible. Elise’s autism was wrongly perceived as ‘naughty’ behaviour, leading to misconceptions about her desire or ability to participate and learn.

The support of a teacher who gave her time, allowed her to feel safe, and encouraged her to use her strengths, finally elicited in Elise the belief that had been missing from teachers and peers, which allowed her to soar.

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Lilah's Story

From feeling alienated, rejected and pigeon-holed throughout Years 7-11, Lilah’s Year 12 move to a school with a flexible learning environment has delivered the education experience she always craved.

She speaks to how being part of such an open and diverse culture has enabled her to ‘own’ her autism, expressing her hopes for this type of school environment to become the norm.


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Jack's Story

17 year old St.Michael’s student Jack is thrilled with the support he receives from his teachers at school, and how they ‘get’ him and what he wants to do. He initially enjoyed doing his schoolwork on an iPad until an addiction to computer games began to compromise his studies.

Employing ‘old school’ tools like books, pens and a tape recorder to tape his classes with quickly got him back on track, all supported by a school environment attuned to making adjustments to help individual students thrive.

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St Monica's College Story

Hear from Colleen (a teacher) and two students (Bronte and Julian) how the inspired Arrunga pilot program is helping to ensure that the needs of all students are met – including those with ASD.

Through implementing a series of measures designed to support the needs of autistic students, the fear, isolation and anxiety so commonly experienced by these students is being replaced by happiness and achievement.


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Want to see more?

There are plenty more stories of education and autism to see.

It’s as easy as clicking this link!

The link will take you to the Spectrospective YouTube channel.
Scan the films in the playlist and get educated on autism!

There is a wealth of information on offer and some awesome stories.
Ranging from young to old, happy to not so happy, long to short.
Some pretty unbelievable misunderstandings and amazing solutions that worked wonders.
All entertaining, informative, illuminating and great to watch and learn from.

If you have the time, you’ll get a thought provoking, intriguing, wide ranging insight into the autistic education experience, and some invaluable information that can inform processes and ideas that you can instigate at your school.

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