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September 2011





Pupils from the NAS Helen Allison school for young people with autism and Asperger syndrome have unleashed their ‘inner Spielbergs’ thanks to a special film-making course, the first of its kind to empower children with autism and give them a voice whilst improving their ability to work with others.

The students from our school in Meopham, Kent, were split into two teams of six and worked together to create storylines, act parts, operate a camera, edit footage and add soundtracks. The end result was a set of two minute-long films, which were then screened to parents, carers and teachers.


Dian Buckley, Performing Arts Teacher at Helen Allison, and Kashif Nijabat, Film Director at iMedia, were the brains behind the project, and are now hoping to raise funds to enable it to continue and benefit other children with autism.


Dian said: “The whole process has been amazing and really inspiring. The students have come on leaps and bounds in their confidence. We now desperately need more funding to enable this project to continue. It is so vital that children and young people with autism are given the same educational opportunities in life as others, but this will only be possible if we can raise funds to take this forward.”


Pupil Daniel Burrow, who took part in the course, said, “It was the best experience ever” and fellow student Cameron Carr added, “It was inspiring creating the film and working with the other students, and I want to become a film director”.


Helen Allison School supports and encourages students to reach their full potential in life, providing education for children from 5 to 19 years old. The school has an excellent understanding and awareness of autism and Asperger syndrome and using this personal and specialist knowledge they have designed a curriculum that meets the specific learning needs of each individual child.


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