Making the difficult decision to choose residential care or college for your child can be extremely distressing and we are pleased that Katie Price is using her position to help raise awareness of when that decision is made in the best interests of a young person with autism, disabilities and complex needs. Our own ambition is to build better, brighter future for young people with autism.

At Prior’s Court, we support young people with severe autism and complex needs and understand the huge challenges parents face in educating and caring for their child – and the impact that can have upon families.

Many people see autism and think of those who are higher functioning and without other conditions – the reality is for us, all of the young people we support have severe autism; many are pre-verbal and have very complex needs which makes it impossible for them to stay at home. 

Suzanne, parent of a young person at Prior’s Court said;

You reach the realisation that you’re not the best person to look after your own child which is heart-breaking because you feel like a complete failure. The one thing you can do is look after that child, keep them safe, and we couldn’t do that. At that point I conceded that we had to look at a residential school.

Chief Executive at Prior’s Court Mike Robinson said;

Our children come to us from having a really tough time. They have severe autism. They also have on average another four diagnosable conditions such as mental health conditions, epilepsy, and they are very, very complex young people. That combined with their severe autism means that actually sometimes the difficulty in expressing what they want is expressed in violent and challenging behaviour. That makes living at home almost impossible. Their parents have to make the incredibly difficult decision to say I’m going to send my child away to residential sometime for 52 weeks of the year. You don’t do that very easily.

Founding patron Dame Stephanie Shirley CHH set up Prior’s Court when there were no suitable provisions for her son Giles, who had severe autism. She said;

When I meet the parents, they’re usually very emotional about having their beloved daughter or son go to a residential school, and I try to explain that it is the most loving thing that a parent can do to make sure that their child has the best education that we can possibly give them.

Prior’s Court is here to support young people with severe autism, and to help those young people and their families to achieve the moments their family thought they’d never have.