Authors: Leigh Burrows, SA
Event: 2010 TheMHS Conference
Subject: YOUNG PEOPLE,
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Vulnerable young people with impairments in their capacity to relate to others such as in the condition of autism represent a particular challenge to education professionals, schools and systems, since their social and behavioural patterns tend to place them at odds with school structures and staff expectations thus increasing the risk of exclusion (Swayne & Fielding, ND). School and systemic responses may need to be more individually responsive and tailored to individual needs in complex cases. This case study describes how a therapeutic story written for an ‘unreachable’ and ‘uneducable’ young person with autism and illustrated by him, produced as a book by his mother and launched in the local community was able to assist him and his family to reconnect meaningfully with schooling after a highly traumatising experience. This study demonstrates the value of tailoring interventions for vulnerable young people which draw on their special strengths to try to create a better match between them and their environment.