Newport school group helps pupils with autism

A HIGH school’s autism spectrum disorders base has been working with a Newport parents support group to help children enjoy mainstream education.

Duffryn High School in Newport, which has been running a successful Autism Spectrum Disorders base (ASD) since 2005, recently started working with Newport mother Amanda Callaghan, who organises a support group for the parents and carers of children with ASD.

Amanda Callaghan, 40, of Newport, founded the Newport Autism Support Group in 2010 after two of her sons were diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism.

After the diagnosis of her son Oliver, 14, in 2009, the mother-of-six did an EarlyBird Plus course and was shocked that after a child reached eight years old, the support stopped.

She decided to set up her own support group for parents like herself along with the help of volunteer Nicola Davies, of Bettws.

Mrs Callaghan actively works with the parents of students at the Duffryn High School ASD base which helps children with autism and similar conditions to receive mainstream education.

The schools ASD base led by Angela Stephens, works flexibly with children and school staff to give the children the experience of a mainstream education.

Ms Stephens said: “We try to give students as much of a mainstream education as we possibly can.

“There are some special measures in place such as allowing the students to leave five or 10 minutes early or late to lessons to avoid the crowds.”

Mrs Callaghan said: “My son Oliver is at the school base. They didn’t rush him and he will now go mainstream all day every day.”

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