Epidemiological studies estimate that 1 in 59 births is likely to include a child with characteristics of the autism spectrum in the near future (Schendel, Thorsteinsson, 2018). Although nearly half (44%) of students with ASD fall in the typical range or above on cognitive ability, many of them are placed in mainstream classrooms (Bolourian, et.al. 2019). And although placement in general education has been shown to be beneficial for many students with ASD and is often preferred by parents, mainstream teachers receive little specialised training on how to effectively manage students with ASD (or related developmental disorders) in the classroom.
It is, therefore, clear that teachers throughout Europe are likely to encounter a student with ASD in the mainstream class. Autism in the classroom is hard for teachers to deal with, especially as many children on the spectrum have accompanying learning disabilities or other conditions such as ADHD, pathological demand avoidance (PDA), epilepsy, learning difficulties (www.autism.org.uk/). Professionals support that it takes hard work to help a child with autism get the most out of the classroom experience. It also takes a good dose of structure and the understanding that every child with ASD is unique, which means each child has different styles of learning (www.webmd.com)(www.autism.org.uk/).