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SEN suffering and stirring the TA debate

We are not surprised that bullying of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities goes unchecked in some schools ("Teased and bullied, but SEN pupils' suffering is ignored", 24 February). Parents and carers often tell us on our online forum (www.talkaboutautism.org.uk) about how children with autism are picked on.

Last year, our research found that more than half (54%) of teachers in England had not been trained to teach children with autism. If teachers aren't qualified to recognise autism, how can they be expected to deal with incidents of bullying?

With World Autism Awareness Day approaching on 2 April, teaching professionals need to play their role in protecting pupils with SEN and promoting greater awareness of autism.

Mark Atkinson, Director of policy, Ambitious about Autism.

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