I used to work with children on the autistic spectrum. My children often ask me about the children with whom I worked and autism in general. This is difficult to explain to young children. ‘Up and Away’ I hope will address some of their questions and help them to see the world from a different perspective.
Up and Away: A Newsround Special airing on CBBC on Friday September 7th at 5pm - hears the moving and often inspirational stories of children who have additional needs and have made the big step up to High School.
Presented by 14-year-old Royal Television Society award-winner Rosie King, the programme combines moving testimony from incredible characters with carefully crafted animation to illustrate that the big move up can be as liberating as it is scary. Rosie has
Autism, and so has direct experience of the subject matter as she explains:
“I was born into a family with special needs and I didn’t really think it was
that big a deal until you realize that not everybody lives with these
disabilities. This programme shows how that huge moment that you might have been
dreading can be the best thing ever.”
Rosie hears the remarkable stories of Daniel who was picked on at Primary
School for having restricted growth and feared it would happen again at
Secondary School; Iyar who has Cerebral Palsy and faced the challenge of moving
up to High School from a Special School; and Callum whose visual impairment left
him vulnerable to bullying.
Daniel, Iyar and Callum’s have all faced up to their individual challenges.
Their inspirational stories show that while life in Secondary School can be
tough, most problems, even for those children who are different, disappear in a
I recently got back in touch with one of the families I worked with. I worked with Tom who was autistic when he was 3 and 4 years old. He was very good with numbers and letters and could read complex words by the time he went to school. His comprehension however, was limited and his speech and social skills didn’t match his peer group. Tom is now 13 years old and I wondered how he had coped in the school system. His Mum said that academically he had always done well but they had worried that he wouldn’t fit in with the other children. Tom was saved by being a skilled sportsmen, he is very popular at school and is having a positive experience.
I am looking forward to watching the Newsround Special and hope it will be an inspiration to children with additional needs and help all children understand the thoughts and feelings of children who are ‘different’.