For children with autism, and their parents, the future can seem daunting. But at Bridges,
we believe that with the right support and with the right social skills, children with autism don’t have to
fall through the gap of social exclusion. They can grow into young adults who can live happy,
Here are just two of our students that we are incredibly proud of, who went on to
study abroad, build lasting friendships and even start their own businesses;
empowered with the social understanding they developed at Bridges.
“Bridges has built my confidence and given me the courage to try new things.”
Like many children with autism, Gemma struggled with making friends in school from an early age.
Without the right social understanding, she found it difficult to interpret social situations.
Using the various Bridges’ friendship tools and lessons, like ‘How People Think’ and ‘Joining Others’,
Gemma was able to make more friends, especially during her A level years, and become more sociable.
Gemma found that by practising the social skills she learned at Bridges over time, it helped build
her confidence and gave her the courage to try new things in her personal life; like, leaving her
home and family to study her A levels in another country when she was just 17 years old.
“Bridges is a great programme that teaches kids about social skills. Having gone through
the whole curriculum, I think all the topics taught are applicable to life.”
Equipped with a strong set of social skills and a confident mentality, Gemma went on from school to
participate in the Cambridge International Model United Nations Conference, working with
other delegates to produce draft resolutions.
“The greatest lesson that my mother ever taught me was never to use my condition as an excuse.
You have to keep trying and never give up.”
But that’s not all. Gemma, who is now 19 and living independently at a UK University, has also set
up her own online business and even coded an app for Android.
“Bridges has helped me be more sensitive in what I say to people in different situations.”
For JY, reading other people’s body language and interpreting social cues was always a challenge,
especially at school. Learning from Bridges’ lessons like ‘Being People Smart’ and ‘Getting Along’,
JY developed the social skills he needed to read people more easily and became more sensitive in the
way he responded to people.
Paired with these new social skills, and his newly discovered sense of humour, JY became better
at maintaining his friendships and even became more sociable. He took up bowling and was part of
his local community centre’s bowling team.
“It definitely boosted my self-esteem and confidence as I got to know more about myself
during the Bridges programme.”
Before Bridges, JY (like many other children with autism) found it difficult to understand other people’s
perspective. He was rigid with his interactions and when he had ideas, he only wanted them to be done
his way. But with our curriculum, JY learned how to become more flexible and open to trying new things.
As his confidence grew, he also became more comfortable with sharing his ideas with
other people and standing up for himself when he felt peer-pressure from others.
“I know how to assert myself rather than be steamrolled by others all the time, and to stand my
ground if I get peer pressured into doing things I don’t wish to.”
JY is now 21 and studying at university in Australia. With an adventurous perspective on life, JY is
preparing for his second overseas trip this year to help disadvantaged children with his charity team.
Success stories like these are why we developed the Bridges curriculum, because children with autism
don’t need to suffer in silence or wait for change to happen.
Bridges is here for you today to help you create a brighter future for your child.