Inside London’s only college for young people with autism

Jane Cotton is not being flippant when she says she is thankful for the charity Ambitious About Autism. She thinks about it on a daily basis. “Really!” she says. “Not a day goes past that I don’t think of the charity and thank God for them.”

Cotton’s son Jack, 21, attended TreeHouse School, one of two schools (along with The Rise) founded by the charity. Now he is a student at Ambitious College. This puts Jack in the category of representing the “less than one out of four” people with autism who are studying after school. If the automatic perception upon reading this is that it must be a question of ability – and Jack is, indeed, a brilliant young man – that would be incorrect. It’s all down to opportunity. There simply isn’t widespread provision for educating young people with autism and complex needs after school. Which means that often these young people, all with their own unique potential, have nowhere to realise it.

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4th January 2018
I News