• George* enrolled at Southlands School at the age of 11, with a primary diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Global Developmental Delay.
• Prior to joining Southlands, George faced challenges related to social interactions, self-care, restrictive eating, and rigid thinking, which had led to social isolation.
Challenges at the Beginning
• George exhibited unexpected sensory self-regulating strategies to reduce arousal levels, which sometimes disrupted learning and hindered his ability to build friendships.
• He struggled with confidence, independence, and social skills.
Provision and Support at Southlands
George received a direct package of support at Southlands, including:
- Speech and Language therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Sessions with a Clinical Psychologist during episodes of suicidal ideation.
- Access to augmented visual support systems. Southlands School closely supported him in implementing autism-friendly strategies, which helped boost his confidence.
Positive Impact of Provision and Support
• George began to excel academically and develop his skills, particularly in subjects like Maths, Science, ICT, and Geography.
• His confidence grew, enabling him to work independently and navigate the school environment. He started eating alongside his peers and became more social.
• George’s self-esteem and confidence increased as he witnessed his progress, reducing his reliance on self-soothing strategies. This positive change further improved his social interactions, contributing to his overall happiness.
• Accessing taster days at local mainstream colleges and subsequently at universities.
• Engaging in extensive career guidance and work-related learning, including an ICT placement in Bournemouth.
• Achieving six high-graded GCSEs.
• Pursuing higher education aspirations, including University.
“George progressed from Southlands and a supported mainstream college experience with strong A-Levels to take up a place at a good University. Both George’s family and we, here at Southlands, are incredibly proud of the progress he has made and the determined young man he has grown into.”
- Alison Priddle, Principal at Southlands School
*Name changed to protect identity