When we first met Jane*
Jane was diagnosed with autism in 2013. She had high levels of anxiety, physical aggression and an inability to control her emotions. She was very rigid in her thoughts and unable to think flexibly.
Jane was previously in mainstream school until the placement broke down. She was then home schooled and supported 1:1 by the Medical Education Team to attend teaching sessions at a teaching centre. Jane remained homeschooled until she joined Cambian New Elizabethan School in 2017.
When Jane came to Cambian New Elizabethan School
Jane initially joined us on a part time basis, slowly builing up to attending full days. Jane’s anxiety began to heighten; she sat with staff to adapt her timetable to include some learning breaks and some creative activities which would help to relax her.
A year ago, Jane was off timetable, the aim was to try to get her to come into school more and feel safe here. Jane would refuse to come into school and would often refuse to get out of the car. Staff implemented sessions throughout the week where Jane could do relaxing tasks like colouring, reading and playing Bananagrams. Along with intensive support from our Mental Health Practitioner, this helped alleviate Janes anxieties. Staff worked closely with home to monitor triggers for Jane and as such, staff have since been able to create successful strategies to help Jane educationally, socially and emotionally.
Today, Jane regularly attends school and accesses a full timetable. She is now able to tell staff if she is finding something difficult and will accept strategies offered to her. When Jane is feeling anxious, several strategies have been put in place to support her. Jane will now access the community by attending small class trips. This is something Jane had refused to do within school before as she was very reluctant to leave the house.
What is the future like for Jane?
Jane will be choosing her options for GCSE and further qualifications at the end of this academic year and is already beginning to discuss her ideas. Jane also hopes to enrol in a college after her GCSE’s where she would like to study Animal Care and Theatrical Make-Up.
*Name has been changed to protect identity