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The National Autistic Society runs specialist schools which are tailor-made for autistic children. One of those is the Anderson School in Essex and it makes such a huge difference to pupils’ and parents’ lives. Wayne and Amanda’s son Reece goes to the Anderson school and we caught up with them to find out the difference it’s made to them.

 

“Our son was at a mainstream school before and was really struggling. He was out of school for nearly a year and then we found the Anderson School. Obviously we went through the local authority and they accepted him. And he’s really happy. It’s specific for ASD which he was diagnosed with 3 years ago, so we knew he needed special needs provision because the mainstream school he was at wasn’t managing with his needs.

To be honest, Reece was at home 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. He had a tutor come in for an hour a day so for us it’s massively improved our lives because we get a bit of extra space too, and we know he’s in a provision where he’s safe. Not only that, he gets to socialise. He couldn’t socialise before at home and he had no interaction with other children. It's a big improvement and a big change.

The benefits: I just feel that he’s making friends, he’s socialising, he’s interacting and he’s learning. He wasn’t doing this at a mainstream school which to us has proved we’d made the right decision for him.

He’s 100% happy at the Anderson School. He’s never been happy like this at any school, including his younger years. We feel that he’s 100% confident at this school.

There were so many activities he’d never ever done before. He’d never done any social activities outside school ever and since coming here he now does a different activity every term. The kids love it, he loves it. He never used to do any exercise or PE. He now does PE at school which we thought would be difficult but it took a couple of weeks and he was straight into PE. And they are always praising him on what he does which is motivating him to want to do things outside of school now.

He’s very, very comfortable. I’ve never known him to go to school like this. He’ll go in quite happily. 'Bye mum', and go in. He absolutely loves it. As long as he’s happy, we’re happy."

 

Find out more

Visit the Anderson School page on our website to discover more about the school and the specialist services they provide.

Visit the Anderson School