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For children with autism 

Committee

Alison Dickson took over as Chair for interAKtive in 2014. She has two sons and has been a committee member since 2003. Her older son has previously attended St Joseph’s in Cranleigh, the Opportunity Base at Foresters School in Wallington, 'the little group' and now is at NESCOT. He has an autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia and dyscalculia. His younger brother has a receptive language disorder and attended the Royal Alexandra & Albert School with minimal support, and now attends Reigate College.

Jackie Hughes joined the committee in 2014 and has been a member since 2012. Her two sons both have autism and both attend Linden Bridge School. The eldest son attended Papillon House School originally. Her youngest son attended the SEN Unit at Dorking Nursery before joining Linden Bridge.

Julia Watson has been a member since 2002 has two sons and a daughter. Her younger son is on the autism spectrum is now in mainstream, having previously attended Linden Bridge and 'the little group'.

Natasha Persad became a member of interAKtive in 2009. Her son, born in 2003, has a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism. He attended 'the little group' for a time, then the Special Needs Support Unit at Eastwick School and now attends Sunnydown. Natasha also has a younger daughter.

Val Mason joined interAKtive in 2002, and joined the committee that year. Her son has a diagnosis of “classic autism” and was at Linden Bridge School, having previously been at ‘the little group’. Val also has a daughter.

Links with professionals

Over the years, we have built up valuable relationships with paediatricians, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists. We also have links with a number of local special schools, both autism-specific and those catering for children with learning difficulties

Members from all over Surrey and beyond

The majority of members live in mid and east Surrey, but families come from as far afield as Twickenham and Hampton in Middlesex, Wimbledon, Tooting, Sutton and Wallington in south London, and some ‘far-flung’ parts of Surrey such as Guildford, Oxted, Caterham and Surbiton.

Patron

Dr Paula Sneath

Retired Consultant Paediatrician

GASP

interAKtive was originally set up under the name of GASP (Group to Aid and Support Parents of Children with Complex Communication Disorders). Its membership comprised a small group of parents, all of whom had a child who had attended ‘the little group’, an Epsom-based specialist nursery for children on the autism spectrum.

When the time came for these children to move on to school, the parents felt that it would be helpful to stay in contact, in order to continue their friendships, share advice and experiences, and to maintain links with others who shared common difficulties.

They organised trips and outings, and established close links with special schools, such as Linden Bridge School in Worcester Park. The Headteacher at the time – Maggi Golding – was instrumental in co-ordinating the summer play-scheme, which has developed into a hugely successful project, now much in demand, and ‘admired’ by other organisations.

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