November’s Saddleworth Networking meet-up, again held at The Swan Inn in Dobcross, welcomed Zoe Thompson to the stage to tell us a bit more about the amazing work going on Bright Futures School.
Zoe told us about how she and her late husband set up Bright Futures School for children with autism in 2010 when the local authority was unable to find a suitable educational placement for their son, who had recently been diagnosed as autistic. Zoe says that as parents, they had found an approach that worked on the core difficulties at the heart of autism and that this had a dramatic impact on their ability to understand and support their son, as well as to reduce the impact of his condition. He became much less anxious and better able to understand people and the world. They set up their school because they wanted this approach – Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) – to be embedded in the curriculum.
Research published in The Lancet in 2016 went on to show that if parents are supported to change their communication and interaction style, they can reduce the severity of their children’s autism. Bright Futures School is now at capacity, with 12 pupils. The school is in temporary premises whilst they wait for their new school to be built in Greenfield, following what Zoe describes as ‘a magnificent offer’ by Robert Scott and Sons to build a purpose built school for them which will help to secure the school’s future.
For more information, visit the Bright Futures School website.
If you are a regular attendee at our networking meetings and would like to do a similar presentation, in which you offer tips and advice from your field of expertise, then please get in touch and let us know.