Based in Newton-le-Willows, LEAP is a dedicated 16-25 provision that specialises in education and preparation for adulthood for young people with autism and associated difficulties. It forms part of the Remarkable Autism charity which includes Wargrave House School and College and Sundial Therapy.
Julliet Doherty, head of adult services at the college, together with speech and language therapist, Haley Johnson, delivered an engaging workshop which included an overview of autism, the importance of therapy and demonstrated the students’ creative skills they have gained since joining the college.
Two of the college’s hospitality students served refreshments to parents, alongside teaching support assistant, Tara Thomas. One of the students, Yanick, also played the guitar and sung to the captivated audience.
The students later spoke to parents about their educational journey and how LEAP supports them throughout different aspects of their lives. They also shared their aspirations and what they want to achieve in later life.
Mrs Julliet Doherty said: “It was a huge pleasure to run a parent workshop with Jo Burgess, assistant principal at Rainford High, and supporting the work they are doing to break down barriers to lifelong learning opportunities for autistic children and young people with additional co-occurring diagnoses.
“Not only were our wonderful students on hand to provide refreshments and entertainment, but they also spoke confidently to attendees and shared some unique insight into their own lives and college experience.”
Miss Jo Burgess, assistant principal and SENDCO at Rainford High said: “A massive thank you to the team for running a parental workshop at Rainford High in support of neurodiversity week. Everyone was impressed with the students and the way they presented in a knowledgeable and confident manner when talking to parents and educational professionals.
“It was useful for our parents to hear all about the opportunities available and developing their understanding of autism. We really appreciate Julliet and the team giving up time to share their passion and expertise with our parents and staff. We are looking forward to working with LEAP College and Wargrave House School and College in the future.”
Principal of Rainford High, Mr Ian Young commented: “Neurodiversity Celebration Week is an important event where we can raise awareness and recognise the strengths and talents of neurodiverse minds.
“The workshop was both inspirational and motivational and was well received by parents. Well done to everyone involved.”