Our Stories - Crosshouse School

It’s fair to say that not all of a child’s life skills are picked up in the classroom.

Learning how to order a meal or pay for groceries is something that has to take place within the community.

Children with Autism can find it particularly difficult to grasp the everyday communication processes most of us take for granted.

And the challenge to teach these skills is even greater when the country is in the grip of tough austerity measures.

Debbie MacKenna, the deputy head of Crosshouse Primary School in East Kilbride, wrote to the Teddy Bear Foundation with a simple request.

Her Autism Spectrum Base is located within a mainstream school in the South Lanarkshire new town.  There are 24 children with Autism, who frequently mingle with the other children in the three-year-old school.

Debbie asked for a small amount of money which would allow her and her staff to take children out on short visits to cafes and supermarkets.

There just isn’t the money in the school’s budget to pay for tiny items like bus fares into town.

Said Debbie:”Just walking onto an escalator can be daunting for one of our children.

“We don’t give a thought about getting our hair cut but some children could get quite distressed about that.

“It is important to learn how to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and to make eye contact with people you meet.”

The Teddy Bear Foundation was delighted to provide £300 which will be used to make short visits to a local café and trips to town centre supermarkets where kids can learn to order an ice cream or find selected items from the shelves.

Teacher Fiona MacRitchie joined Debbie and a number of Crosshouse kids on an outing to Pacini’s café just a few hundred yards from the school.

The children politely asked the waitress for ice creams all round before tucking into their treat.

Laughed Fiona:”We have not been able to go out for ages because we didn’t have the money.

“Now, we’re never in!”


Crosshouse School

Kids from Crosshouse school enjoying a trip to the local Pacini's cafe.

Crosshouse School


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