Anne Hegerty with students

Two weeks ago, National Autistic Society supporter and star of ITV’s The Chase, Anne Hegerty, visited Clarendon School in Twickenham. The school won a visit from Anne by signing up to take part in World Autism Awareness Week in April, this year.

Greeted by a cheering school assembly, Anne spent the whole morning answering questions from students and touring the school to see the great work the teachers, support staff and students are doing.

John Kipps, Headteacher said, “During World Autism Awareness Week, we used the excellent learning resources provided by the National Autistic Society. Many of our pupils have an autism diagnosis and to have such a positive role model in the school has been amazing.”

Anne was particularly moved by one young student’s film about what it is like to be autistic. Anne told the assembly she could relate to many of the sensory issues the young man described.

Asked what advice she would give to young autistic people, Anne said,

You can learn to deal with the sensory issues. And don’t expect too much of yourself. Give yourself breaks, give yourself time but do expect you can probably do more than people think you can.

Watch Anne's 'Thank you' message in the video below.

You can find Secondary, Primary and Early Years learning resources on autism, here, including a film from Niall Aslam, autistic man and Love Island contestant, and the Trummies, our colourful bunch of animated characters who live on the autism spectrum.

World Autism Awareness Week is back next year from Monday 30 March to Friday 5 April. Get the date in the school diary today and help create a society that works for autistic children and adults.