Learner Dan was one of many at LVS Oxford who raised money for Sport Relief at the end of March, with sponsor forms handed out as a way of encouraging learners to practice their interaction and communication by approaching friends and family to sponsor them.
Dan really went the extra mile for the event, and chose to make a public announcement at his local church, Ladygrove Church in Didcot, to encourage parishioners to raise money. He stood in front of the whole congregation and told people about his sponsored run at school, encouraging them to donate. He then made the effort to stay in the church hall afterwards to sign people up to sponsor him, quite a challenge as the acoustics in the hall are poor and with hypersensitivity to sound Dan normally avoids the hall.
After the event Dan announced to the congregation he had achieved his goal and asked people to give their donations, then approached them to collect their money. It took several weeks,but last month Dan brought in his sponsorship contribution to school of a huge £190.
His dad Hugh said: "The communication and interaction were probably a bigger challenge for him than the run. I think the church realised that and wanted to honour him for his courage".
Well done to Dan and to all our learners who contributed. Evidence that for people on the autism spectrum, there are more challenges to overcome for an event like this than just the obvious ones, but also great proof that focusing on enhancing confidence and communication skills can really improve learners' abilities to manage themselves and contribute to society.
My vision is employability and independent living skills for students with learning difficulties.