Education and Autism

By Tyler Ody - 23 June 2022

Opinion and Features
  • Tyler Ody, with one of his College Buzz Newsletters he made during his time at Horizons

    Tyler Ody, with one of his College Buzz Newsletters he made during his time at Horizons

Living with Autism - a column by The Autistic Journalist Tyler Ody. North Swindon resident Tyler Ody has been working for Swindon Link for the past three years. From the age of four Tyler has been diagnosed with Classic Autism. Here's his new monthly column.

Welcome to column number 4 - this month I will be talking about education.

I started education officially at Moredon Primary School when I was 4-years-old. This was my first step into the world of education. 

When I first started school I used to have a 1:1 TA which was a really big help for me. They would help me with my work, and a really fab teacher named Mrs Burcham later became deputy head. 

In Year One I had Mrs Hood. I used to work on a work station with my 1:1 TA and I used to love going on the computer to play The Magic Key phonic games. I recall I probably laughed at the stories, and played in the home corner.

Before I went into Year 2 the old school which (where infants were separate to the juniors) shut down and eventually became a housing estate.

I remember letting off balloons and the old headteacher Mrs Hillson retired and handed over the reigns to Miss Connor.

I started Year 2 in a brand new modern school with Miss Seviour who was one of my favourite teachers.

What I liked about her was she always had a smile and used to make me laugh. I remember her mum used to come in to read with us.

In Year 3 I had a really cool teacher called Mr Sedgewick and two new TAs, Mrs Kimble and Mrs Juggins. We learnt a lot about a lot of subjects. I recall learning about chocolate and making our own chocolate bar wrapper.  

That Christmas, I remember I was a chef in Hansel and Gretel play, and I had to stir the cauldron. What did I do? I really got into the role and pretended to taste the food! 

Year 4 was the last year to have my 1:1 TA support. I quite enjoyed Year 4 and Mrs Price who I really liked, used to dye her hair in cool colours. 

I also had 1:1 support from a lady called Mrs Werrell (from reception age to Year 4) who was very helpful and kind.

This is when I learnt to play the recorder. I can recall a CD being made of my class playing the recorder and singing for the school concerts which I really disliked, and me being me, I used to have little go before the song even started.

When I went into Year 5, I had a lovely teacher named Mrs Wollington and a really lovely TA called Mrs Connor who always made smile in the classroom. 

We learnt to play the clarinet which I was totally trash at, and caused a racket.

Year 6 was a bit crazy for me. It started off good but poor Mrs Connor went off ill and I was at one point stationed on the computer. I also broke my leg that year, and had to have time off to recover. 

My friend at the time Gave me a card that my class made, and that the class next door made for me.

I always enjoyed going on residential trips. On day 1 of the trip, I would sometimes feel anxious but still made myself go anyway. I feel the experience, and the challenge helped me to become more brave. 

In September 2011, I started at Crowdys Hill School which was an amazing school with a farm which you could walk the Alpacas, and a flat which helped with hospitality skills. 

At first I used to be anxious and upset because it was new to me but as soon I got used to it a really enjoyed my time. This is where I met my best mate Sean Paul Mcastocker, and we are still besties to this day.

Another aspect of education I enjoyed was the school trips. We would go to museums and theme parks. Sometimes if the museums were busy, I could feel anxious and stressed but it was still good to visit them and learn. Oxford museum was my favourite. 

Theme parks were always enjoyable - when on rides, having a good time, I feel I can let everything out. Log flumes are my favourite. 

From September 2016 - July 2018 I studied in Crowdys Sixth Form. I studied Health and Social care and I first started Work Placement at Swindon 105.5.

In September 2018, I started at Horizons college where I had a really enjoyable experience and I felt I was at home there. 

All the college instructors and learning assitents were really helpful and I used to have a laugh with Carl. Carl was the Funniest TA you could ever meet. I was in Supported Internship with Lorna which was a really good classroom to work in.

During my time at Horizons, I would work with other classmates to make our College Buzz Newsletter. You can see from the photo above, that I am holding one of the editions I made back then. 

Little was I to know, as well as working with Swindon 105.5, I would get a really fab work placement opportunity with Swindon Link/Ocelot magazine starting from 2 October 2019.

I left college to become a full-time volunteer with Swindon 105.5, and a paid job with Swindon Link.

As far as my time in education goes, I have always processed things quickly, but there have been times where I have needed people to take a bit more time and repeat questions. 

I am thankful for the opportunities and support, I had while in education, and I hope all my old school friends are doing well.

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