Alisha, who has autism, ADHD and pathological demand avoidance (PDA), has been a pupil at the school since February.
“Before coming to the school, she was quite sad really. She needs constant 1:1 support and her previous school, a mainstream primary, just couldn’t give her the support she needed. She had really low self-esteem, low self-confidence and she didn’t believe she could achieve anything.
“The school simply didn’t have the resources to meet her needs. She was quite sad and knew she was different to everyone else at the school. She didn’t speak when she came home from school. At school she was in a little room by herself – she couldn’t cope with the noise and stimulus around the school and she could become quite disruptive – it was all too much for her. We were told if things didn’t improve she would be excluded and for over a year she only did half days on a reduced timetable.
“We decided to get CAMHS involved to see if there were other alternatives. We got an EHCP last July and we were told she would need a specialist setting and we were told about Napton. At first, because of the distance I was reluctant to even go to see the school but I’m so glad I did. I could tell straight away it was different – they listened to me, they were so welcoming and they just understood. They really answered our questions. There was so much support too – our visit, a visit for Ally and a home visit. She’s not fazed by the distance and although it’s an hour away, Alisha loves it and says the journey to school is one of her favourite things!
“She settled in straight away and made friends, which was fantastic for her. The biggest difference is she came home happy and wanted to talk about her day, what she had learned and what she had done.
“Obviously lockdown happened and because of our home situation, we decided Alisha should stay at home but it’s worked really well.
“Lockdown could have been very difficult for her, but the school have been great at keeping her engaged throughout, supporting with her learning and there been no arguments or issues. There’s been phone, email and class Dojo contact and Alisha has started to go back and she’s really happy.
“It’s like we have a different child and it’s definitely a weight off my mind to know we’ve found the right school for her. The school is perfect for Alisha. We’re so happy.”