New Study Shows the Cons of Typical Schools & Pros of Autism Schools

If you’re the parent of an adolescent on the spectrum, it’s no surprise to you that kids with autism often feel left out in school. They often feel like outcasts, like they don’t fit in–and their neurotypical peers don’t really try to change that. Autism schools–that is schools created specifically to aid students on the spectrum–offer a sanctuary for these students so they can learn and thrive.

A recent study discovered much of what we already knew deep down: the “typical” school experience frequently leads to negative outcomes for students with autism.

Negative experiences in school can shape a child

Students with high-functioning autism may be at a higher risk of feeling “separate” and “different” from their peers. They often get thrown into classes with neurotypical students because they can keep up with the academic material–but the social aspect may be more taxing than previously assumed.

Negative school experiences can always have long-term implications, but for students with autism, this risk looks to be higher.

In a study conducted by the University of Surrey, researchers found that being excluded in mainstream schools can make a student with autism develop “low self-esteem, a poor sense of self-worth, and mental health problems.”

How autism schools can help these students

Researchers in the study believe that being excluded by most peers has an enormous impact on their mental health. Students with autism will internalize these negative reactions by peers. They see how others treat them differently and begin to feel that negativity towards themselves.

Along with this exclusion, typical school environments can be a nightmare for spectrum kids. All the regular noise and bustle of a school not developed for students with autism can cause a sensory overload. This not only makes it hard for students to communicate with others, but it also hinders their ability to learn.

Autism schools offer a carefully cultivated setting for teens with autism. They strive to provide an experience that not only makes these students comfortable but inspires them to push the boundaries and grow in a healthy, safe way.

While increased acceptance of students with autism in typical schools will help the issue, it won’t solve it completely. There will always be students that need an extra boost of help–which is why autism schools exist.

New Focus Academy is here for your family

New Focus Academy works with young men and women, ages 13-17. Our students often struggle to form relationships with peers and lack the ability to organize their daily lives. Due to these challenges, our students frequently feel a persistent failure and lack of confidence.

At New Focus, we use a relationship-based, clinically-sophisticated program to create practical life skills in our students. Our students become more self-reliant, resilient, and socially connected. For each of our students, we provide a well-defined plan and purpose to gain confidence, build relationships, and overcome challenges.

For more information about how we help at New Focus Academy, visit our website today at