DONCASTER North MP, Ed Miliband, has taken the time to learn more about the education provision for autistic young people in the region.


Mr Miliband was invited to visit Communication Specialist College Doncaster, part of Doncaster Deaf Trust, by Alan Fisher, the father of a young high functioning autistic student.


Alan said: “I wanted Ed Miliband to visit Communication Specialist College Doncaster to see what a fantastic place it is and why so many parents want their children to come here. My son Harry is almost 17 and is an extremely intelligent young man but he has autism and needs the specialist support that places like the Communication Specialist College Doncaster offer.


“We have to fight to get our children and young people into specialist provision and this shouldn’t be the case. We all want our children to thrive and I can see how far Harry has come on here already. We need our MPs to support us to make sure that Harry and other children with communication difficulties get the education and support that they deserve.”


When Harry started at Communication Specialist College Doncaster just getting him through the door was a huge step. With the help and support of his tutor he has built up his time at college gradually and is now spending every morning learning. He has been introduced to a tutor group and is starting to form a friendship.


Alan Robinson, executive principal of Communication Specialist College Doncaster said: “We were pleased that Ed took the time to come and meet us and find out more about the autistic provision we have for young people.

“As a specialist trust we have a nursery, school and college and our college offers places to young people who are deaf or hard of hearing or have communication difficulties such as autism.


“We are able to offer students the chance to take different levels of vocational courses as well as support with life skills such as managing money and budgets, independent travel and cooking meals. The emotional support we provide is as important, if not more important to our students, as the qualifications they are working towards.”  


Mr Miliband was given a tour around the college and met tutors and students. One student, Jack Wade, showed him the stop motion animation he was developing and told him that he’d come to Communication Specialist College because he knew he would be able to cope. Other organisations were too busy and too noisy for him to be able to learn.


Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: "I was hugely impressed with the staff and the students I met at Communication Specialise College Doncaster.


"The college - and the trust which supports it - do fantastic work to ensure its students have access to high-quality qualifications and to learn new skills, while also improving their employability, independence and communication.


"I'm happy to support the work they are doing in any way I can."