Corey (18), who has autism and communication difficulties including a stutter, is a student at Communication Specialist College Doncaster. In his own words here, Corey, who is originally from Rotherham but now lives in Bawtry with his family, explains how the college has exceeded all his expectations with the support it has provided to him as he strives to achieve his career goals.
I have been a student at Communication Specialist College Doncaster for nearly three years now. I am autistic and, since being a little boy, have had speech difficulties which has greatly affected my ability to communicate, as well as my confidence.
I was previously in a specialist school in Rotherham where I completed my GCSEs but then had a decision to make about where I went for my post-16 education.
When I came to visit this college, I knew it was the right one for me because I could see how the staff and students interacted so positively with each other and I got a great feeling about the welcoming environment.
And I was right! The college has far exceeded my expectations with the support they have given me.
I am studying catering and health and social care and the college has organised a number of relevant work experience placements for me that have really helped me understand the work involved in those careers.
I have been to a social centre in Doncaster where I supported adults with learning disabilities helping them to eat and encouraging them to socialise and take part in activities. My second placement has been working at a 4.5 star hotel in the kitchen preparing vegetables, meat and working in the pastry section. I am also just about to start my third placement which is again supporting disabled people with their social life – taking them shopping, out for tea and cooking for them.
All these opportunities are really practical and are giving me skills in the areas I want to work in in the future. Ever since I was about 6 or 7 I have loved to cook and I would really like to work my way up into catering management. On the health and social care side, I’ve always felt compassion towards people with extra needs and I would like to be a support worker so I can help people the best way I can. This college is working with me so I can achieve my life aspirations and I now feel so positive about what’s ahead for me.
The staff at the college have also assisted me personally. My confidence has increased so much and I now have a paid job at KFC which I am really enjoying. I have also developed my social life. I used to be quite introverted but since coming to the college I’ve made lots of friends including with many deaf people which has also given me the opportunity to learn British sign language.
The speech and language therapy I have received has made such a difference to me. The therapist was a god send and helped me so much by showing me different techniques to control my stutter. My communication is now the best it has ever been as before I really struggled to even have a conversation with people. I recently did a speech in front of everyone at the college and I would never have dreamt of being able to do that previously. All the staff are amazing and so supportive.
This college is not just for people who are deaf. I would highly recommend it to people with learning difficulties and communication needs. It’s a really inclusive place to people with a wide range of extra needs and I think it is important to get that message across so other people can benefit from it just like I have.
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