MSP for East Kilbride Linda Fabiani was warmly welcomed when she visited students and staff at a ground-breaking new school for local children with autism.
Ms Fabiani took the opportunity to see first-hand how well local children from South Lanarkshire have settled into Daldorch House School, St Leonards, since it opened at the end of last year. She received a guided tour of the new, state of the art Care and Education Service for young people aged 5-19 with autism and very complex needs.
Linda Fabiani MSP commented, “It is wonderful to see Daldorch, St Leonard’s supporting local young people and helping them develop a full and valued life within the community. I understand that these children encounter significant obstacles every day and show considerable determination in trying to overcome them. I was deeply impressed by the ground-breaking surroundings at Daldorch, St Leonard’s and the dedication, patience and enthusiasm of staff who help make the school a home from home for local children. I am certain that this facility will greatly enhance the lives of many children and young people both now and in the future.”
The new school is a ‘satellite’ of the main Daldorch House School in Catrine, East Ayrshire, the only independent, 52 week residential and day specialist school in Scotland specifically for children and young people with autism and others who would benefit from the SPELL approach*.
The school has enabled South Lanarkshire children with autism to be supported closer to their families and within their local communities wherever possible. Children previously resident in Ayrshire, have ‘come home’, to receive the best support and education for their needs close to their families, and in their local community.
Shona Pinkerton, principal at Daldorch House School, East Ayrshire commented, “We were delighted to welcome Linda Fabiani MSP to our school and explain some of the innovative work we do here. These are straitened times for local authorities, but as I explained to Ms Fabiani, this gives us an opportunity to create something valuable that parents want.
“We developed the satellite school with South Lanarkshire Council because we believe that every young person with autism should have the best possible opportunity to live and learn in a setting that works for them. Within this outstanding facility, we have expertise and systems in place to enable these young people to develop skills, confidence, understanding and awareness of themselves and the society in which they live.”
Daldorch House School, in St Leonards, East Kilbride is the result of an innovative collaboration between NAS Daldorch and South Lanarkshire Council. It provides a broad, structured 24 hour curriculum enabling young people with autism to develop their learning and a range of daily living skills across the waking hours of the day, within their local community.
Autism is a developmental disability. People with the condition can experience severe challenges in communication and understanding the world around them. An estimated 50,000 people in Scotland have autism, and nearly 1000 with the condition are thought to live in East Kilbride.
*All NAS services use the SPELL framework to support people with autism. It’s a unique and well-established system, developed through nearly five decades of experience by NAS professionals and practitioners. NAS works on the principle that every person with autism is different. SPELL guarantees that individual need is at the heart of everything we do. For further information: http://www.autism.org.uk/our-services/education-and-schools/about-our-schools/learning-approach-spell.aspx
For further information on DaldorchHouseSchool: www.autism.org.uk/daldroch
Notes to editors:
- Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
- Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
- The National Autistic Society is theUK’s leading charity for people with autism and their families. Founded in 1962, it continues to spearhead national and international initiatives and provide a strong voice for all people with autism. The NAS provides a wide range of services to help people with autism and Asperger syndrome live their lives with as much independence as possible.
- The NAS relies on the support of its members and donors to continue its vital work for people with autism. To become a member, make a donation or to find out more about the work of the NAS, visit the NAS website www.autism.org.uk
- For more information about autism and for help in your area, call the NAS Autism Helpline on: 0808 800 4104 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, (free from landlines and most mobiles).
- The NAS Autism Services Directory is theUK’s most comprehensive directory of services and events for people with autism. Visit www.autism.org.uk/autismdirectory to find autism services and support networks in your area.