An inflexible educational approach is not appropriate for every child with autism, causing suffering to them and their families.
Our vision is to allow children with autism to reach their potential through individualised, specialised programmes that match their needs.
Formed in April 2007, The Fred Foundation is built on the principle of allowing children with autism to reach their potential through individual specialised education programmes.
The right education provision has been proven to be the most influential factor in finding that child again.
The Foundation takes its name after Fred Borer who was diagnosed with autism in 2002 aged three. As Fred grew older, his parents quickly realised that finding a suitable education provision that mirrored his needs was exasperatingly difficult.
Along their journey, Fred’s parents met lots of other families facing similar problems and felt something should be done. Children were being placed in wholly inappropriate places and in some cases being severely affected as a result.
Too many schools were under-funded and under-resourced. Too many children were being denied the one thing that would make the most profound difference to their lives and to the lives of their families – an individual specialised education programme.
The Foundation was therefore set up to help fund education programmes for children with autism.
The Fred Foundation is a fully registered charity.
Why What We Do Matters
Trying to secure the right education for a child with autism is an immensely long and stressful journey for parents.
For some, it is a postcode lottery with some LEAs actively being at best unhelpful and, at worst, obstructive and underhand. Faced with overwhelming evidence from a variety of independent professionals, often presented at a SEN Tribunal and compiled at great cost to the parents, LEAs still persist in supplying children with inappropriate education provision. Just getting the child assessed can take years
This has a dramatic effect on the child. They will often regress into their own world and become unteachable. They lack any basic self help skills which enable some semblance of independence and are excluded from making a meaningful contribution to society. When early intervention is key, the LEAs’ process and policy making can actually be harmful to the child.
A common problem facing parents with a child with autism is that LEAs are both judge and jury in deciding the child’s provision. Once (and if) they have eventually assessed the child, they then decide the provision. They are also guardians of the SEN budget and compromise, delay, confrontation and sharp tactics are all too common.
This direct contradiction between supposedly independent assessment and education provision is totally at odds with giving children with autism what they should rightfully expect.
This is why The Fred Foundation matters.
Until assessment and provision are independently judged, parents will always be fighting. And as if having an autistic child was not hard enough.