In May 2014 learners from our sister school, supported by their teachers and skipper of the 12 metre yacht took to the waters of the Solent, out of Southampton, for a week long residential sailing trip.
Trips like this are particularly challenging and rewarding for young people with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum and 'Dynamic Planning' became the buzz words for the week as the young people learned that plans will change depending on the weather and sea conditions.
To support the boys in coping with plans changing at short notice, information was writtten on small erasable white boards and read to the boys who in turn had to repeat it back. The whiteboards were then stuck up in the saloon for the boys to further reference if they needed to. Visual aids were also used as reminders for the day's tasks and to show the menu for each day.
The learners took on the challenges of crewing a 12 metre yacht working as a team and learnt to steer through one of the busiest waterays in the world with enthusiasm and everyone enjoyed themselves.
Current research shows that only 15% of young people with an autism spectrum diagnosis are in sustained, full-time employment and we are passionate about changing that statistic.