IT WAS seeing the development of her own son which led Jane Atkinson to open her own play therapy company for children with Asperger syndrome and autism.

Jane’s son, George, was diagnosed with severe autism when he was only two years old. She claims that doctors told her that George would not be able to learn basic life skills and that she should consider putting her son into residential care.

Now George is a confident 18-year-old studying Foundation Learning at Brockenhurst College, alongside working a part-time job for Kidz Camp UK.

He enjoys participating in sport and watching his favourite football teams Saints and Chelsea.

He also likes listening to loud music at gigs – something doctors predicted he would be unable to do due sensitivity to loud noise.

His 52-year-old mother attributes his developmental success to a child-led play therapy programme that she created specifically for George.

She used her theatrical background paired with autistic research to create the programme.

The mother from Sway in the New Forest has now turned the ideology of this the scheme into a business, Positive Path Play therapy.

The company was established nine years ago when George was nine years old. George had started at mainstream school - something that medics thought would not be possible.

Jane felt that because she had helped her son, she may be able to help other children who had been diagnosed with the condition.

Now she the one woman company has taught hundreds of children and young people with autism and Aspergers from all over the country.

She said: “I turned a negative into a positive and that was something that inspired the name of the company.

“I knew my experience could help other parents who were going through similar experiences of learning your child is autistic.

“The medical profession uses very negative language from the point of diagnosis.

“I wanted to be able to help children and give them a chance to flourish.

“My business helps not only the child but the whole family. It gives the child life skills and inaugurates the individual into society through a non-judgemental approach.”

Before undergoing his mother’s play therapy programme George was unable to wear clothes with labels in, change to his routine gave him extreme levels of anxiety and loud sounds would send him into a panic.

However as an adult, George is does not suffer from any of the issues he experienced as a child and his only autistic traits are slight verbal indications like overcomplicating sentence structuring.

This month Jane, alongside George’s employers Kidz Camp UK, will be hosting an autism friendly winter wonderland event in Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Eastleigh.

Tomorrow children are invited to an inflatable Christmas themed party. The event, that runs from 5pm until 6.30pm, is suitable for children aged between 18 months and 12 years old.

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