Priyan joined BeyondAutism Sixth Form in 2014. A friendly young man, he liked people and their attention, but didn’t have the skills he needed to effectively gain attention or manage his own sensory needs. The resulting behaviours that challenge meant that Priyan required a staffing ratio of 2:1 in the Sixth Form hub and had very low community access. The Sixth Form team supported Priyan to communicate and request more effectively, manage transitions appropriately, and to regulate himself within the busy environment of the school.
As Priyan came to the end of his time in the Sixth Form, his family and the team around him realised there was a lack of appropriate post-19 provision available for him to continue his education. Priyan had made good progress and learnt a lot of skills during his time at school but needed further support to ensure he was ready for adulthood.
Having identified a critical gap in provision for our cohort, and knowing we had the expertise to help, in 2016 BeyondAutism secured a building in partnership with Yarrow Housing and a small team of staff to support Priyan in the newly formed pilot of BeyondAutism Post-19.
In the first year, the team did fantastic work supporting Priyan in his new setting, reducing behaviours that challenge and teaching independent living skills that would be critical in his adult life. Staff then focused on developing his communication to give him the ability to request for the items, activities, locations and actions (e.g., asking to take a break) that he wanted. He learned to engage in short durations of peer activity (playing darts, Connect 4, and reading with a peer), and to exercise to support his physical health.
He also learned to transition independently in the Post-19 Hub and in the community. As a result, he began to thrive in the community, making huge progress whilst accessing a wider variety of locations on a daily basis; including shops, cafés, parks, the gym, and the local garden centre. Priyan also completed vocational tasks – participating in a social enterprise making cards, and gardening at the hub and a local care home as part of a work experience placement.
Priyan graduated from Post-19 in summer 2022. By this point his staffing ratio had reduced to 1:1 support in the Hub with 2:1 support in the community. During his final academic year, we supported Priyan’s family with their options for future placements. He is currently on a waiting list to access his next adult setting and is continuing to develop his independence skills with his father at home.
Priyan will always hold a very special place in our history for playing a crucial part in shaping Post-19, our adult education offer for 19-25 year olds. Provision that enables students to make meaningful choices and progress in ways that are important to them. We wish him all the very best for his future.