Date of Arrival June 2013 (Aged 15)
Date of Leaving July 2015
Length of Time at Farney Close 2 years
Adam attended a number of local schools in Crawley with a growing reputation of being extremely confrontational and controlling, particularly with members of staff and younger children. Adam was diagnosed as ASD quite late in his school career and had obvious difficulties in retaining relationships but an obvious determination for self-control and wanting to be in charge. Incidents in previous school included barricading staff or children into classrooms or generally running around school being disruptive.
Adam was articulate and could go through phases of maintaining relationships with adults at school and other children but this would often break down when he became unhappy with something in particular or because their demands didn’t suit him. Strong obsessions around gaming, in particular flight simulator which he was very good at and flew virtual real time long haul flights to places such as Australia, Hong Kong and north and south America. Adam had fantastic detailed knowledge about how to work it and had a strong understanding of how to virtually fly a range of passenger airlines such as 737’s and 747’s. Also fascinated with shotguns and would often go shooting with Dad, who had a firearms certificate, at weekends. Relationships within the home were strained, particularly Adam’s relationship with Mum with whom he would rarely speak and be demanding around basics such as food, house routines, personal hygiene etc.
On the initial home visit from the Head Teacher, Adam was responsive but clearly had a “game plan” in mind and so whilst he was talkative he was trying to control the conversation. Happy to show and tell about his fascination with flight simulator and about firearms and going shooting with Dad. Also spoke dispassionately about his relationship with Mum. Curious about the school and was happy to visit.
Adam arrived at Farney Close at the end of Year 10 and continued into the 6th form leaving at the end of Year 12. On entry to Farney, ‘A’s grades in English were Level 5 overall, in Maths 4+ and Science 5-. During his time at school, Adam’s attitude towards his learning was generally positive although he could be quite selective and obstructive at times. This had an impact on his attainment level, especially where he became anxious about a new area of learning or examinations. Over time, with work and support, from staff and therapists, Adam became more functional and engaged in school giving him the confidence to both complete a range of examinations and move into the 6th form and onto the local 6th form college.
He carried out his work experience placement at the Cat’s Protection League. This was very successful with him enjoying the placement and he has returned to help as a volunteer since.
Adam finished Year 11 at Farney Close with GCSE qualifications in English Grade E, Maths & Science Grade D. AQA Entry Level Grade 3 in RE, History and English and Grade 2 in PE. WJEC Entry Level Pathways in Food and Music. During his time in the 6th form, ‘A’ studied Public Services at Crawley College. He did not enjoy this but with support from staff to attend his lessons he managed to complete the course and obtain an NVQ Level 2 qualification.
Adam had funding approved for 2 years and because of his interests in hunting he was encouraged to do a gamekeeping course at Plumpton College for his second year. He interviewed very well and was accepted on to the course but ‘A’ chose not to go.
From a young age Adam wished to be a pilot but as he is colour blind this was not a viable option. However, we did manage to secure a real flight simulator experience with a local air flight simulator manufacturer to the aviation industry in Gatwick. This proved to be very successful seeing Adam technically able to take off and land an A737 without much difficulty.
Adam also had interests in hunting which he did with his Dad at weekends.
With support from staff, Adam was able to speak openly with his parents about his sexuality. Being autistic, this was a real worry for him as to how they would manage this.
‘A’ was 18 in the September so did not have to continue in further education. He contacted a member of staff at Farney Close, with whom he had a good relationship, by email shortly after leaving and advised that he had not gone back to College but instead had got himself a temporary job as an Air Steward for Thomas Cook. This was a four month contact over the Winter Period. ‘A’ found that he absolutely loved this work and applied successfully to EasyJet to continue working as cabin crew.
3 years down the line of having left Farney, he is still in contact with staff at school and is still working for EasyJet and has put in a transfer request to be stationed from Berlin.