Last week’s victory for Brighton & Hove Albion over Wolverhampton Wanderers proved cause for even more celebration than most for our learners. Amongst the 25,231 crowd on Tuesday 18th October were four learners from LVS Hassocks who were themselves being put to the test socially, and passed with flying colours just like their team as they cheered Brighton to a 1-0 victory.
Whilst The Seagulls were performing on the pitch, teachers from LVS Hassocks were using the experience to integrate a group of learners into a busy social setting and helping them cope with the noise, bustle and surroundings of a big crowd of people at the American Express Community Stadium. With crowded spaces often difficult for children with autism to manage due to the range of stimuli they have to deal with, the Amex was an ideal place to immerse themselves in a busy atmosphere and practice key skills.
All learners thoroughly enjoying the experience, with Steven saying: “The match was really good and I enjoyed the experience even though there was only one goal in the game. The crowd and atmosphere were fun”.
Staff member Mark Carrell was pleased that the learners had such a good time. He said, “It was great to see all of the young people enjoying the game and the atmosphere. This kind of environment can throw unfamiliar challenges their way, but it is so great that they all adapted brilliantly and enjoyed the experience. Some of them have lost their voices with all the singing and shouting that has been going on. It is so important for these learners to be able to develop their socialisation skills and community awareness, and these kind of trips allow us to observe just how much progression they have made. All the staff are so proud of them.”
LVS Hassocks Head of Centre Kira Brabenec added: “One of our key areas in which we help develop our learners is building their confidence and making sure they are equipped when they leave the school to live independently and cope with social situations they will encounter in everyday life. A trip to Brighton & Hove Albion like this gives them practice at a range of things they find challenging, and because it is something they enjoy so much they are able to tackle that positively and successfully”.