Thanks to our wonderful supporters, 8 year old Tom has come a long way from the frustrated and confused boy he was just a few years ago. Getting the right support at school has changed his life and has made such a difference for his family.
At the age of 5, just after Tom was diagnosed with autism, he was asked to leave his school as they just couldn’t cope with his behaviour.
His sensory sensitivities meant he really struggled in the classroom - the lights were bright, the teacher was asking questions he couldn't answer and the other children were loud and distracting. Sometimes it got so overwhelming that all Tom could do to let his frustration out was have a meltdown. He often came home from school feeling miserable, like he couldn't do anything right.
When Tom was asked to leave the school, the whole family was devastated. It was hard to believe that their sweet, funny, loving little boy who loves to play the clown, could become wild and unpredictable in the classroom!
It was heartbreaking.
The situation was dire and putting so much financial and other stress on Tom's parents, Stephanie and Brandon, that they weren’t sure they’d even survive as a family.
Then they got in touch with Aspect. Within a few days, Tom had been assessed and was in a new school.
The Aspect teachers understand Tom, know how to support him and bring out the best in him.
"It feels like they’ve come to rescue us," says Stephanie.
Tom is now flourishing. He’s at a mainstream school, but in an Aspect autism-specific class.
"We can’t even begin to tell you about the change. Tom is so much happier now," says Stephanie. "His big heart just shines through. He absolutely loves animals and babies. He adores our cats and is so sweet with them. He has such a strong emotional connection with us and with his buddies at school. It’s such a special quality."
At school he’s doing well with his reading and he’s good at maths. He’s a great talker and has a wonderful vocabulary.
His Grandma, Barbara, who he has a very special relationship with, says she is surprised every day with the things Tom learns and the intelligent things he says in their conversations.
Tom’s passionate about everything electronic - video games, Wii, Nintendo DS, and he has two tablets. He’s amazingly tech savvy and his ability to multitask is incredible.
His dream is to grow up and get a job at EB Games (a popular games and electronics store) so he can play all the games when the store closes for the day!
"Our dream for Tom is that he can follow his passion and be included in this great world of ours – not excluded," says Stephanie
"We just want him to be happy, for him to be limitless and enjoy the opportunities he deserves."
"The future now does look really bright and we are so proud of Tom. The worry that we once felt has been replaced with hope and we can’t thank Aspect's supporters enough for making that possible."