"You can learn to deal with the sensory issues. And don’t expect too much of yourself. Give yourself breaks, give yourself time but do expect you can probably do more than people think you can."
It was with these words that Anne Hegerty, best known for her role as 'The Governess' on ITV quiz show 'The Chase', concluded a speech about autism awareness given to staff and pupils at Clarendon School in Twickenham. The school was the lucky winner of the visit from Anne after it signed up to be part of World Autism Awareness Week in April this year.
Anne was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when she was 45 and has spent much of her time since then campaigning for increased awareness of autism, becoming a high-profile supporter of the National Autistic Society. During her visit, Anne was given a full tour of the school and afterwards spent time answering students' questions.
One autistic student at the school has made a film about his experiences of the condition and Anne said that she was 'particularly moved' after seeing it. She told the assembly that she 'could relate to many of the sensory issues' described by the student.
John Kipps, the Headteacher at Clarendon School said: “During World Autism Awareness Week, we used the excellent learning resources provided by the National Autistic Society. Many of our pupils have an autism diagnosis and to have such a positive role model in the school has been amazing.”
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