Jonny and James
I live with my partner Michael Paterson and two sons James and Jonathan aged 22 and 19, both of whom are on the autistic spectrum.
Our other family members are our dogs, cats and horses. Mike and I have been keen riders for almost our entire lives and the boys have been riding since before they started school.
Despite the difficulties they have with communication (Jonny in particular as he is non verbal) both have become more competent over time and to be able to all ride out together as a family is a real bonus.
We became aware of Next Steps when James started there as a trainee. He has benefited hugely from the experience, both from learning wood working skills and the friendships he has made. The inclusive ethos and real sense of community has increased his social skills tenfold. It was seeing the positive difference it has made to James that made Mike and myself want to get involved.
Kay Sussex, Mother - May 2020