Towards Independence Study Programme

The Towards Independence Programme offers an integrated approach to learning. It is aimed at learners aged 19-25 years old with complex learning difficulties and disabilities (CLDD)  including those with co-existing conditions (e.g. autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We also support young people who have complex medical needs. Many young people may also be affected by compounding factors such as multisensory impairment or mental ill-health, or require invasive procedures, such as supported nutrition, assisted ventilation and rescue medication. Learners require access to integrated therapy, a high level of support, both for their learning needs and also for their personal care.

Billy’s Story

Billy started College education in September 2017 on our Communication and Choices pathway and over the course of 2 years he made excellent progress within our specialist curriculum and he currently attends  Hedleys Towards Independence study programme.

Billy engages in every aspect of the College life.

Billy benefits from a high support ratio in College, including 1:1 support for all new and community based learning. It is important to Billy to continue to access Hedleys multi- sensory approach and an individual specialist programme that further develop his independence and communication skills.

As noted on his annual review – since joining Hedleys College, Billy has shown progression in his ability to read  through symbols and he can now independently complete ‘my timetable for the day’. In addition to that, Billy has made excellent progress in transferring  skills to home, he has completed domestic independence tasks with parents practiced at College as part of his domestic independence sessions. He has follows recipes and collectes shopping.

As reported by the College Speech and Language Therapist –

‘Over the last year Billy has grown in confidence when initiating interaction with others in familiar contexts. He has an awareness of his peers and shows some interest in others; he has made good progress with his previous outcome of developing attention and listening skills. During social communication sessions he has been observed working well with a peer for up to 30 minutes, maintaining eye contact and keeping focused on a joint activity’

As reported by the Personal Tutor and College Occupational Therapist –

‘Billy responds well to a structured and multi-sensory based timetable. He has shown at times his need for sensory input through the use of a squeeze vest to bring the optimal arousal level to engage in the task at hand. Further progress would see Billy increasing the amount of times he tolerates the squeeze vest throughout the College day to help with his regulation’.