Paul is 4 and has been in P1 for a few months. He has an older sister in P3. It is very obvious that while the other children have settled down to school routine Paul is finding it very difficult. He seems to be quite a bright child but when persuaded to sit with the rest of the class, will not put his hand up, shouts out and demands the teacher’s attention at all times. He does not play with other children but will hit them and push them away. He needs to be first in the line for dinner or P.E. etc.
If he doesn’t get the attention he wants or if he is not allowed to be first in line, he will start crying hysterically and scream and kick. On a few occasions when this happened the young teacher relented and persuaded the others to let Paul go first. He is well aware of the timing of the day’s events and when it is close to home time Paul will fetch his coat, put it on and regularly run out of the classroom without waiting to be told to go.
Report of the Task Group on Autism – Recommendations on educational provision for children and young people with autism in the North and Republic of Ireland.