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Jake was referred to Nisai Virtual Academy (NVA) by an autism charity last year having been out of education for six years.

He had been home schooled between the ages of 10 and 16 for a number of reasons, mainly because he is easily intimidated and can become very withdrawn and not speak. He had low self-esteem which also contributed to his school refusal. When he feels safe and secure he is very verbally able and is a bright and intelligent young man.

Jake's exceptional talent

When Jake enrolled on a GCSE English course he lacked confidence because he had been out of education for so long. His teacher found him exceptionally talented in the subject. He said: “Through the online lessons and associated assignments Jake was able to realise his potential without facing the barriers which had overpowered him in his previous settings.”

Overcoming his anxiety

Like some young people with autism, Jake’s information technology skills were very good. Once he overcame his initial anxiety he quickly became an integral part of the class group. His teacher said: “It was almost as if he was able to be himself, in the sense of showing that he was engaging with the subject. Once he realised he could do that and not be judged or criticised by others he really started to thrive - so much so that he quickly moved up to a higher group.”

Jake is now studying the first year of an A Level English Literature course.

Want to share your story?

If you want to share your story, please email Anabel Unity Sale, Press and PR Officer: ausale@ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk