Jake is a student at Portfield School. Last year he was unable to attend school full time, he struggled with his peers, he wouldn’t engage with new adults, he didn’t attend educational trips, he would not partake in any physical activity and he refused to have his photo taken.
Just last month, he proved what an incredible difference time at Portfield School can have on a young person, during a trip to Hengistbury Head which he chose as his reward for his achievements in school.
Jake wanted to walk to the top of Hengistbury Head, buy an ice cream and have Arsenal join him. Arsenal is our Autism Advisor, who was diagnosed with autism later in life, and he has been working closely with the students at Portfield School. When Jake was asked why he would like Arsenal to join him, his response was heart-warming:
“Because not only can I talk to him, he completely understands me and I like spending time with him. I like seeing an adult with autism as it makes me think that things will be ok when I grow up”.
Staff members at Portfield School have said how wonderful it has been to see the change in Jake, from where he was last year to now. He has formed positive relationships with his teacher, and also with Arsenal.