New autism school brings pupils 'home'

YOUNGSTERS with autism were given fresh hope with the launch of a groundbreaking £1million school on their doorsteps.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

Arran House in St Leonards, East Kilbride, an offshoot of residential school Daldorch House in Ayrshire, will provide intensive support to three pupils with profound autism.

The satellite school, which includes a sensory room, kitchen, living area and separate bedrooms for each of the pupils, will be staffed round the clock.

More than 60 pupils currently live at Daldorch House, in Catrine. It was Scotland's first 52-weeks-a-year residential and day specialist school specifically for children and young people with autism.

Both centres are managed by the National Autistic Society (NAS).

Arran House is a collaboration between NAS Daldorch and South Lanarkshire Council and was launched to bring children who need specialist support closer to their families.

Tommy Pollock, whose daughter Louise, 12, will live at Arran House, said he and his former partner Irene were delighted their daughter would be returning to their home town.

He said: "This is both a launch of a fantastic new school and a welcome home party for our daughter.

"Becoming resident at Daldorch was the best decision for Louise and she has made terrific progress in meeting the challenges of her condition.

"But even though we knew we were doing the best for Louise, it was very hard when she left home at such a young age.

"We are thrilled Louise is coming home to East Kilbride, Instead of travelling for two hours to see her, she'll be literally just down the road."

The new school aims to help young people aged between five and 19 develop their learning and daily living skills within their local community.

People with autism, a developmental disability, can experience severe challenges in communic-ation and understanding the world around them. An estimated 50,000 people in Scotland have autism, nearly 1000 of them thought to live in East Kilbride.

Lisa McMillan's son Ross, 13, who will also be a resident at the school.

She said, "We're del-ighted Ross will be getting the right education for his needs, while living much closer to his family.

"I stay in Blantyre and regularly travelled to see Ross at his former school in Ayrshire but the three- hour round trip could be quite a challenge, especially in the winter months. Now I just jump on a bus and I'm with my son in minutes."

Shona Pinkerton, Daldorch's principal, said: "We believe every young person with autism should have the best possible opportunity to live and learn in a setting that works for them."

'

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

91739

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

Why I am raving about Lady Gaga, the Hanoi Bike Shop and Scotland’s Ambulance crew

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

What have you done to your face Renee Zellweger

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.