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Case Studies

Su Menon

21 January at 22:42

As part of my work as a Holistic Fitness teacher I have been working with Alice (name changed) a young autistic student at LAMP Learning (Leamington Arts & Music Project). LAMP Learning is a school in Leamington Spa for kids who suffer from high anxiety or have been diagnosed with ASC. Many of the students here are ridiculously talented but unable to participate in mainstream education.

My challenge was to help inspire Alice who hates exercise to exercise! She happens to be an incredible artist with truly awesome drawing, making and animation skills. She loves Manga (Japanese super-heroine cartoon characters). She also loves making gigantic weapons out of cardboard (they are SO cool!). I asked Alice if she could help me design a yoga circuit for my students based on Manga characters and their weapons. As well as producing a fantastic set of Yoga cards (below) with funky new names, she created dynamic, empowering movements to help flow in and out of the postures using her cardboard weapons. We got her moving! This has been one of the most rewarding projects I have ever done. It has been an honour to work with Timothy Ellis and his team who have been shortlisted for a very prestigious award for the absolutely INCREDIBLE work they do with these young people 🧘‍♀️🤺🧘‍♂️🙆‍♀️🏆🤸‍♀️

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Learner 1

Diagnosed with ASC and anxiety and was out of school for several years and had very negative feelings about school and a very ‘schooly’ environment.

Attending LAMP part time from 2016 to 2018. Achieved GCSE Japanese Grade A*, A Level Japanese Grade B. Progressed to Warwickshire College part time 2017/18. Now at Coventry University. She is also mentoring a young person in Japanese. The young person she is mentoring has support from Specialist Teaching Service at WCC.

She was able to progress to college and then University after her time at LAMP. Her confidence was built, her achievements were excellent and her anxiety around more academic environments has decreased over time.

The quiet environment was very important for this young person. The Japanese groups are small, usually a maximum of 3 students per class. The lack of a school uniform and teachers called ‘Mr/Miss/Mrs…’ was a big help to her and she was able to feel more relaxed and engage more fully as a result. Her confidence improved as she progressed through the courses (with brilliant results) and she made friends along the way.

Learner 2

Diagnosed with ASC, plus social and emotional difficulties and was a school refuser for several years, due to high anxiety and other difficulties around social situations and emotional health.

He is now attending LAMP taking Maths GCSE, English Functional Skills and Computer Game Development engagement.

He has been at home unable to attend mainstream education due to high anxiety. He was referred to WCC Specialist Teaching Service along with his EHCP. His first visit to LAMP was simply to peep through the door. This was a great success and was followed by a period spent coming to after-school sessions when no other students were here. He was far too anxious to attend during the day. Over the course of his time at Lamp he has progressed to daytime sessions with other young people and is sociable, highly articulate and very knowledgeable in his subject areas.

The sessions were designed to engage him through his own interests and to build on the success of him coming to LAMP and looking through the door. From talking and showing his favourite computer games the tutor was able to develop the idea of designing his own game. This stimulated the idea of learning and raised his confidence to trust and develop his abilities.

The environment is unlike school or college. It’s more like being in a relaxed art college environment or an Arts Centre. This has helped our learners feel at ease, creative and inspired.

Having built resilience around the environment he joined an after-school club for Dungeons and Dragons and made friends with some other students. Also he attends daytime tuition with other students in Maths and Computer Games Development. He also attends English Functional Skills.

Learner 3

Diagnosed with ASC and anxiety.

Attending LAMP part time from 2015 to 2016 and full time 2016 to 2018. Achieved NCFE Level 2 Art & Design, NCFE Level 2 Performance Skills Using Music, Higher Maths GCSE Grade 5, English GCSE Lit / Lan Grade 4. Progressed to Level 3 Art & Design at Warwickshire College in September 2018.

He did not know he could be a musician capable of writing original music until his second year at LAMP.

He came from a broken family, his Mother died when he was young - Father was absent. He tried living with step father but he used his benefits for his own purposes and this created many problems. He was made to live with his Grandfather and became his carer at age 14. Sleeping every night on a camp bed next to Grandfathers bed in the living room.

He eventually got a flat in a communal house through Supported Living. This transition was supported by LAMP and WCC Specialist Teaching Service. The communal house presented some difficulties for him and he now has his own flat in Warwick. As well as attending College he also works at a charity shop in Leamington Spa.

The progression route was to Warwickshire College, this was an immense achievement for him. Having been excluded from all his secondary settings before he came to Lamp, it seemed that he would never settle into education. At Lamp he was able to work at his own pace in a stress free environment. He was able to choose courses in creative subjects that he was passionate about. This was the key to his success and is subsequent re-integration into a mainstream college for further study.

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