Uplyme school given £535 for autism awareness training for its teachers

PUBLISHED: 08:01 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:54 21 July 2020

Zishan Adamson-Drage and son Jacob present a giant cheque to Uplyme  head teacher Katie Lyons. Picture: Chris Carson

Zishan Adamson-Drage and son Jacob present a giant cheque to Uplyme head teacher Katie Lyons. Picture: Chris Carson


An Axminster family has donated £535 to Mrs Ethelston’s Primary School in Uplyme so teachers can have specialist training to support children with autism.

Zishan Adamson-Drage and her husband Matt raised the money through a crowdfunding appeal.

Their son Jacob, aged nine, who attends the Uplyme school, has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which affects one in 100 people.

Mrs Adamson-Drage, Axminster’s deputy town clerk, said: “Whilst common, it often goes undiagnosed.

“For children of primary school age, this can mean difficulty in learning, inability to focus and behavioural challenges.

“As mum to a son on the spectrum, it is so important these kids do not fall through the gap. But as we know, schools lack the resources and funding.

“This money will help fund teacher training in ASD awareness and give staff a practical toolkit to aid teaching methods, so that ASD kids can reach their full potential. We’re so thankful to those who donated.”

Uplyme headteacher Katie Lyons thanked Jacob’s parents for the kind donation which would add to the school’s ASD resources and support staff training.

She said: “We are always grateful for any fundraising that takes place on behalf of our school to enhance the children’s experiences with us.

“Anything that can add to the effective education we provide to all of our pupils is always gratefully received. We are looking forward to putting it to great use in the new academic year.”

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behaviour.

Autism spectrum disorder begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — socially, in school and at work, for example. Often children show symptoms of autism within the first year. A small number of children appear to develop normally in the first year, and then go through a period of regression between 18 and 24 months of age when they develop autism symptoms.

While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, intensive, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.

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