Strengthening partnerships: autistic parents’ experiences with Australia’s schools

Stacey Rabba, Jodie Smith, Gabrielle Hall, Melanie Heyworth, Wenn Lawson, Rozanna Lilley, Poulomee Datta, Liz Pellicano, Vanessa Alexander, Emma Goodall, Najeeba Syeda

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


Schools are meant to serve all students, providing education and broader social support in a way that sets children and young people up for life. Unfortunately, and despite the best efforts of many, we know that autistic children and young people do not always enjoy the experience that they require in formal schooling in Australia. Many autistic people report having deeply challenging times at school, with opportunities held back and even mental health suffering as a result. These challenges have been consistently exacerbated too by a failure to learn from the experience of autistic people themselves. For a long time now, researchers, educators and policymakers have failed to be duly attentive to the perspectives of the autistic population; the opportunity to share their experiences in research has been limited and even where they have existed, few people have listened and fewer still have learnt. This report seeks to change that. It presents new research about autistic parents’ unique experiences of interactions with schools. The information in this report shares our understanding of educational experiences for autistic parents of autistic children and suggests ways we may be able to promote more effective partnerships between autistic parents and the educational system more broadly in the future for the benefit of all.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, NSW
PublisherMacquarie University
Commissioning bodyDepartment of Education (Commonwealth)
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780645472615
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • autism
  • school
  • parent-school partnership


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