Tessa’s story

Tessa is 21 years old and about to start her third year at College. Tessa’s learning programme focuses on personal and social development and independence. Kate, Tessa's mum tells us her story.

“Tessa has autism which affects her behaviour and means her verbal
communication is limited. A benign tumour in her brain causes a visual impairment. We live in Leeds so Tessa travels in each day by bus.

tessa's story

Since starting at College, I have seen a huge improvement in Tessa’s ability to be more independent. We have done our best to keep up the good work, encouraging all of Tessa’s new skills and abilities.

She has been making her own snacks, choosing her own clothes and helping around the house. All of this has done wonders for her independence and confidence!

Tessa has been asking for more and more things without communication aids and shown a real interest in other young people. On the whole she has been a star – motivated, independent, responsive to requests and very happy.

I am convinced that a key part of this success is because we have worked closely with staff to ensure that all the great progress which she achieves in College is not lost when she is at home.”

Free online resources

Read Kate’s top tips for supporting your child to maintain skills for independent living in our e-book: Step by step guides to living with disabilities.

Young people with disabilities come to specialist colleges like Henshaws to learn skills to help them live more independent lives. Colleges provide expert staff and tailored facilities to create the ideal conditions for learning. But what happens when young people return home during evenings, weekends or holidays? And how can parents and carers ensure that the new skills their children have learnt are carried forward into their future?

Download our free e-book