Penny left college in November 2008, halfway through her A2 course. She had been diagnosed (very late at the age of 17) with Aspergers and was finding everything very difficult. I was very proud of her decision, as it takes a lot of guts to do something like that, especially when you are very bright and actually enjoy learning which she does. She has since been working part-time and has completed and passed the first year of an OU degree in Psychology.
So, what is the fantastic news? Well, when she left college she was reading the National Autistic Society magazine and saw an advert for The Priory Education Services and that they had a specialist Asperger college, Farleigh College, based in Frome and Swindon. She said that she would be extremely interested in going there, so that she could not only finish her A Levels, but also get some help with life skills etc for the Aspergers. There starts the story! It has taken us this long to go through the whole process, from application form to Farleigh, applying to the Learning and Skill Council, interview with Farleigh, being offered a place and then getting the funding approved by Essex County Council and it is this last bit which finally came through yesterday!
To say we are thrilled is an understatement. We have been so nervous - the funding application has been going on since January. We were offered the place at Farleigh in Swindon in December, but have not known until yesterday that Penny would definitely be able to take it up.
She is now doing all her planning, raring to go! She starts on Sunday 5th September - well, she moves in then as she will be boarding in Swindon and coming home for a weekend once a fortnight. Our house is going to feel very empty come September as Ben will be returning to Plymouth to do his final year at uni! He is down there now as he has taken possession of his flat this week.
Thank you for reading this rambling post! Just so pleased, relieved, and happy that things have turned out well for her. Congratulations Penny!