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Joanna's Story

Published Tuesday 12th of June 2012 12:29:10 PM

Joanna's* story

Joanna came to us after several unsuccessful school placements and a period of home schooling as she had become a 'school refuser', when she was 13 years old. Joanna has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and can become upset in certain situations especially those associated with being part of a large and busy mainstream secondary school. At the start of term, Joanna was accompanied in school each day by her mum. Over time, this support reduced and Joanna has built up the time that she is happy to be supported during the day by school staff.

'My daughter is no longer judged by the things she supposedly can't do, rather her strengths are embraced and celebrated.'

Along with other staff and pupil's, Joanna has planted her own rose in the school garden and watched it grow and blossom over the first term. This helped to give Joanna a sense of identity within the school community. Joanna was also involved in making and filling a time capsule with an item of personal importance to be buried in the garden to mark the historic opening of the school. This gave her and the other students and staff a strong sense of belonging and emotional investment in the physical environment of the school.

Joanna has learned to knit and make items with felt and finds these activities relaxing. She is passionate about animals and animal care. Brantwood has invested in six chickens and two guinea pigs for the students to care for and cuddle. The animals have helped motivate Joanna to come into school and provide a calm and 'homely' atmosphere. Joanne helps to clean and feed the animals and provides them with very adept care. On Friday afternoon's, Joanna and another student go horse riding with members of staff. These two young people are developing a good relationship with each other through the shared interest, fun and practical experience that this activity provides them with.

'As a parent I also feel very well supported by the Brantwood Team. Daily conversations mean that we are working together in partnership to support .. learning'

*students real identity protected

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