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Huddersfield helping Jonny overcome his anxiety

8 Feb 2019

One autistic youngster interviews two Huddersfield stars to highlight his progress with the PL/BT Disability Fund

Jonny is completely comfortable as he sits down to interview stars from his beloved Huddersfield Town.

But it has not always been so easy for him to interact with others.

Jonny has ADHD and autism, meaning he can find it difficult to concentrate in school.

"He had been at a mainstream school but had become very isolated," says Ruth Perfitt, deputy headteacher at Southgate School, a special needs school in Huddersfield.

"He couldn't really access the mainstream environment and the mainstream curriculum because of his complex autistic needs."

Huddersfield encouragement

With the help of his new school, Jonny started working with the Huddersfield Town Foundation, who used the PL/BT Disability Fund as well as Premier League Primary Stars to help him study and overcome his anxiety.

"We worked on a one-to-one basis with him, to try to improve his numeracy and literacy," says Foundation disability co-ordinator Isaac Keighley.

"He's now interacting with different people with disabilities at our football sessions and really working on those social skills."

And he had a chance to show how much he has progressed when Elias Kachunga and Laurent Depoitre visited Southgate School for a special interview.

"The questions were designed and written by Jonny," says Keighley. "The fact that he's writing makes me incredibly proud.

"He wrote us a Christmas card and it was the first time his mum has seen him write in over six months.

"I'm excited for the future to see how far the progression we can make with Jonny keeps going."

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