Tag Archives: autism

‘They just went so far above and beyond’ – railway workers make dream come true for autistic Norwich schoolboy

Charlie Baker, 8, of Norwich, enjoyed a dream day out thanks to East Coast Trains


Monday, February 24, 2014
6:30 AM


Charlie Baker, 8, of Norwich, enjoyed a dream day out thanks to East Coast Trains Train-obsessed Charlie Baker was chuffed to bits when railway workers made his dreams come true.


Charlie Baker, 8, of Norwich, enjoyed a dream day out thanks to East Coast Trains

The autistic Norwich eight-year-old is fanatical about East Coast Trains – and is not interested in any other types of locomotive.

His mum Caroline Briscoe, 39, said his laser-focused enthusiasm can make it a nightmare to buy gifts for him.

She decided to write to East Coast Trains for help and was stunned when three parcels of train goodies, including hats, mugs and mousemats, arrived by recorded delivery in time for Christmas.

And after she wrote to thank staff, they went one better and invited Charlie for a dream day out at King’s Cross Station in London to try out their train simulator.

Miss Briscoe, who lives off Old Palace Road, said the gesture was “incredible” and they went to the capital on Saturday.

iPads for kids with learning difficulties

MP visits Hackney primary school for launch of new learning scheme


DIANE ABBOTT visited a primary school to help launch a new scheme in London which will give iPads to children with learning disabilities.

The MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington, attended Grasmere Primary School in Hackney, east London last week Friday (December 6) to raise awareness of the project.

The initiative is the brainchild of Hearts & Minds Challenge – a charity dedicated to helping families of children with autism.

By donating old mobile phones to the charity, they can go towards an exchange for an iPad. The charity needs to collect at least 185 old, broken, damaged or unwanted mobile phones in exchange for a brand new iPad with autism-friendly apps and features.

Grasmere Primary School is well known for its inclusivity for children with complex special educational needs and its close working relationship with external professionals supporting children.

Families fear respite care cuts

Big issue: Families fear respite care cuts

Warwickshire County Council plans to cut £1.7m from its budget could leave carers at breaking point, reports Mary Griffin

Rebecca Page from Priors Marston and her daughter Aleisha Page, who suffers from autism

“My whole world revolves around Aleisha,” says Rebecca Page. “It has to.”

Rebecca’s life plan has changed dramatically since her daughter Aleisha was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of three.

Seven years on, Aleisha is never left alone, needing one-to-one attention 24 hours a day.

Rebecca, who lives near Southam and left her career as a specialist teacher to become a full-time mum, says: “She headbangs until she’s stopped, she kicks and punches and she is extremely active, climbing up furniture.

“She’s a physically fit 10-year-old who functions somewhere between a baby and a two-and-a-half-year-old.

“She has no language but communicates through Makaton (a system of signs and symbols).

“You can’t turn around from her to run a bath. If you’re not holding on to her she’s gone.

“I can only sleep when she sleeps and then it’s like sleeping with a newborn – that half-sleep where you’re always listening out.”