The Autism Education Trust (AET) is supported by a panel of Autistic Young Experts who consult on AET projects, materials and strategies.
Since 2016, this group of young people, ages 15-25, have shared their voices and lived experiences to steer, influence and advise the work we do.
As well as advising on AET materials and strategy, Panel members speak at events, co-deliver training and support autism education networks.
Who are the Autistic Young Experts?
The Panel is made up of 11 autistic young people from across England.
Each has different experiences of education, and of being autistic.
Education types vary. Some members are from home education, mainstream schools, special schools and universities.
While all are autistic, that doesn’t make their experiences the same. Many have struggled with education, and don’t want that to be the experience for other autistic young people.
What have they been doing?
AYE Panel launches their own YouTube Channel
Sharing openness, wisdom and insight, the Panel launched their very own YouTube Channel to talk about the experiences they’ve had, advocating for positive change to support other autistic young people to thrive in and out of school life.
Supporting the Peer Learning Network
With the launch of the Peer Learning Network, members of the panel took part in a series of webinars aimed at educational support staff. Sharing their experiences of education and what support they would have liked to receive is the top priority of the AYE panel.
Creating new resources
The Panel are excited to launch two toolkits that they have co-written on setting up your own panel and self-advocacy for young autistic people. Coming soon!
The Panel advises on Ofqual's access arrangements for exams
The Panel worked with Ofqual to update their Access Arrangements Guidance for exams - this will ensure all young people who require access arrangements will receive the support they are entitled to.
The Panel provided training to AET trainers
The Panel shared their lived experiences with AET's network of Training Partners. This was a highly successful session and they are enthusiastic about participating again.
AYE Panel get creative with their own logo
Intent on carving out their own unique identity, the Panel set about designing their own logo to use on their projects.
They worked with former panel member and artist, Sam Ahern, to create a logo that they felt was representative and it’s now used across all AYE resources and documents co-created with the panel.
AYE Panel leads AET logo design
To celebrate the launch of the AET’s new website and updated materials, we felt it was time to update the AET logo, too. We wanted our new identity to express everything we are proud of: our values, our growing organisation, our fantastic partnership of more than 100 dedicated organisations committed to the cause of autism education and, most importantly, the autistic children and young people at the heart of everything we do.
AYE Panel co-train with autism experts
AYE panel started working on a toolkit for the AET materials on how trainers can co-train and co-deliver training with an autistic young person.
This will build upon the work we’ve done to understand how training works as part of what the AET delivers and how autism should be spoken about.
AYE Panel improve PSHE resources with DfE feedback
Incorporating feedback from the Department for Education, the Panel worked closely with the AET to co-produce resources for school PHSE sessions and assemblies takingplace during and after iWorldAutism Acceptance Week.
AYE Panel make Good Autism Practice Promises accessible for peers
The Panel felt it was important that autistic pupils had a clear and accessible way of understanding the AET’s 8 principles of Good Autism Practice (GAP).
They created the Inclusion Promises, highlighting how the Promises were interlinked with the AET’s Standards and Competency Frameworks, and how GAP supports autistic young people day to day in practice.
AYE Panel work to improve school exclusions
The AYE Panel started working with Dr. Karen Guldberg at the University of Birmingham. Their input throughout this research emphasised and highlighted autistic perspectives on the increasing number of school and college exclusions.
Terms of reference
Read the full Terms of reference for the Autistic Young Experts Panel here.