Empowering People, Launching lives

Toby’s Early Years’ story

We came across BeyondAutism Early Years purely by luck as we drove past the service and spotted the sign. At the time, we were quite early on in our autism journey. When I looked into it further it sounded exactly what we were looking for, at a time when we were desperate for support. The main thing I was looking to get out of it, like everything at the time, was knowledge. I was keen to arm myself in every way possible way to be ready to support my son.

I researched Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and was initially cautious. However, whilst I am sure that some people have had bad experiences, I believe that techniques have moved on and our experience of Behaviour Analysis at BeyondAutism has been one of an approach completely tailored to each child and delivered with gentleness and care.

Meeting the team

I actually cried after the first session. At the time my son was completely non-verbal, showed no interest in toys, role play and had no motivators with the exception of the iPad. However, we couldn’t use that as a reinforcement as he did not understand the concept of reward. We met the wonderful Marta who with her bubbly positive persona, grabbed some dinosaurs and toothbrushes and got him playing with the dinosaurs, cleaning their teeth. Initially I had the inevitable Mum guilt that she made it look so easy. All staff at BeyondAutism have that skill and we have learnt so much from the team.

The parent discussion sessions led by Sarah with their informative presentations covered every possible subject and the team were always on hand to give advice.

A change in Toby

Upon joining Early Years, we started to see benefits quickly. When Toby came to the setting, he resisted any kind of group activities and was wary of other children. The team at BeyondAutism got him taking part in story time and bucket time, improving his sitting, listening and engaging skills.

The approach is completely two-fold – my husband and I got as much out of the support as Toby did. Our knowledge grew and we were guided through every question or concern we had along the way, including support with our EHCP and formal diagnosis. We received little support from the council for Toby or ourselves when we got the diagnosis, which is why the support from BeyondAutism was so important.


Toby at school

BeyondAutism and his other wonderful mainstream pre-school setting prepared him to start school in September where he is now thriving. He is now verbal and at 5 has even started to read. There are of course still challenges, but I really believe all of our lives would have been so different had we not found the service and we are so incredibly grateful.

By Katie, Toby’s mother


If you’d like to help more children like Toby, please consider making a donation to our Early Years’ service. Or you can find out more about the service here.

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