A unit-ed effort

PUBLISHED: 15:19 04 August 2006 | UPDATED: 10:45 01 June 2010

PLANS for two specialist centres for secondary school age youngsters with Asperger syndrome have been welcomed by a Fenland mother. Pat Barber, of Elm, believes her son Cameron is not receiving the education he deserves. After suffering problems since he

PLANS for two specialist centres for secondary school age youngsters with Asperger syndrome have been welcomed by a Fenland mother.

Pat Barber, of Elm, believes her son Cameron is not receiving the education he deserves. After suffering problems since he was a small child, he was diagnosed with the form of autism last year.

Cameron, 13, has Asperger syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Mrs Barber said that although he cannot cope with a mainstream school, her son needed full-time education and the chance to take the appropriate exams. He receives only 18 hours a week tuition at a unit in Wisbech.

On three days each week, Cameron finishes at 12.15pm and on another day he is taken to play badminton and to a play park.

She said: "It is not what I call educational things. The schools are failing them. He is worried about things because he wants to do his SATS and GCSEs."

Cambridgeshire County Council is seeking permission to base one unit at Comberton Village College and another on the site of Witchford Village College. The units will be open to pupils from across the county.

It is hoped they will save youngsters with Asperger syndrome from dropping out of school without qualifications. There are more than 500 children in Cambridgeshire with some form of autism who have been given a statement of special educational needs by the local authority.

Mrs Barber is determined to get the best education possible for Cameron and his twin Callum, who also has ADHD but is able to attend a mainstream school. The twins were fostered by Mrs Barber and her husband Ray from the age of two. When they were six the couple decided to adopt them.

Ray died four years ago and Mrs Barber has been coping with the help of family and friends. After reading in the Wisbech Standard about plans for the new units she said: "If this could give him the kind of thing he needs then it would be great.

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