A young man from Doncaster has returned to his old school to support sports sessions for students thanks to his time at Communication Specialist College Doncaster and the belief his old head teacher placed in him.

TJ Wheeler, aged 21, from Doncaster, left his previous school a day early due to behavioural and emotional issues. He suffers from Asperger’s and ADHD, and sometimes finds social situations difficult.

The day before he was due to leave school his head teacher and his mum agreed that it was all getting too much for him and it would be best for him if he left a day early, which he did. He then went on to study sports, completing a three year sports diploma, at Communication Specialist College Doncaster.

He said: “My time at college really changed me and I changed a lot. I wanted to go back to my old school and show how much I had changed and I wanted to leave on a positive note.

“We’d done lots of work at college and delivered session to a Mencap group and learned lots about helping out and running sports sessions. I was over the moon that old head teacher agreed to give me a chance and have me back there for work experience and I helped out with Year 6 sports sessions, assisting the teacher in the sessions.

“I must have made a good impression as I was invited back by the head teacher, class teachers and the students and did two lots of very successful work experience in total. They even baked me a cake to thank me for all my help when I left. It was a great experience and I am grateful to everyone for letting me show how far I had come and that I’d really changed during my time at college.”

TJ has now left college with his Sports Diploma and is looking for work in the Doncaster area with the assistance of the team at the college.

“I really want to find a sports related job so that I can put my training to good use and make a difference. I know that the team at the college have said I can talk to them and get help and advice and I am really keen to find a job that suits my skills,” added TJ.

TJ also plays football both with the college team and with another local team, he is passionate about sports. “It would be great to find a job doing something that I love. I’ve learned lots from my time at college and I know that the right job is out there,” said TJ.

Students at Communication Specialist College Doncaster study vocational courses with the additional support they need to help them with their individual communication needs.

Suzie Beaumont, from Communication Specialist College Doncaster said: “TJ is a fantastic young man who has worked really hard to get his diploma. He was so proud to be able to go back to his old school and deliver these sports sessions. It was important for him to show that he had developed his skills and he was pleased that his head teacher gave him that second chance.

“We know the challenges young people with autism or communication difficulties face and we are hoping that the right job for TJ comes along soon.”