John was referred to our Key To Potential service in January 2015. John has Autism and suffers low moods; he had also moved to a new school after being bullied at his previous school. Unfortunately John’s education attendance was very low and he met an individual tutor once a week to support him in finishing a Nation 4 in both English and Maths.
Socially, John felt quite shy and awkward meeting new people. This meant he stayed away from other pupils, coming to and leaving the school when others were not around. Additionally, John’s father is terminally ill and had recently left the family home to be treated in a care home. Initially it was difficult to contact John, and he was seldom in school due to his anxiety. Due to the sensitive issues the family were experiencing, John’s mum did not deal with correspondence very effectively, and could be quite emotional when she was called regarding John.
Eventually I was able to introduce myself to John and we then arranged to meet at Edinburgh College on a weekly basis in a neutral space. Despite initially agreeing to meetings, it took a while for John to maintain regular appointments and build a relationship. However, throughout this time I kept in touch with John by letter and texting.
When I did meet John I supported him by discussing options available to him; the college entry requirements and course content, and phoned his mum to discuss all these options. His mum wanted John to stay in school but he was keen to leave. John was interested in Film and Animation, so I sent information about Creative Film courses to John and his mum, explaining potential career routes into advanced college courses. From this she was aware that John’s education may not suffer as a consequence of attending college, and that he could still work towards career goals. John was very enthusiastic about the potential of Film and Animation courses, and it made him happy to know he could apply for a programme very close to his interests. This seemed to reduce anxiety in the home surrounding potentially leaving school.
As a result, John became more motivated to meet with me and began to discuss possible part time jobs and open up about home life more.
Unfortunately, John did not get into a creative industries course as his qualifications from school were not high enough. However, by actively going through the process, John was successfully able to apply for and find success with a college access course. John has now started at college; this autonomous environment along with a sense of feeling more adult has allowed John to also make some friends.
We have changed John’s name and some details to preserve his anonymity. Interested in learning more about Key To Potential? Get in touch to find out more: call 0131 475 2354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org