REACH North West
Reaching their true potential
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Reach North West
Reach In The Community

REACH North West

REACH North West is a voluntary community group that supports autistic children and their families. We create individualised support packages to meet the whole families needs.

We help children to REACH their true potential by providing services that assist children to overcome communication difficulties and barriers to learning using a multi-disciplinary approach.

In addition we also provide practical advice, information, training and build partnerships with families, school and other professionals


Autism and Me

About me

My name is Shannon. I am 19 years old and I have what is known as high functioning Autism. I don’t know about you, but I think it should just be autism, everybody with autism is the same but unique in their own ways so I believe it is wrong to say words like high functioning and severe autism.

All people with autism are different but I’m going to talk about autism and me.


People with ASD communicate in different ways and this is because we struggle with communicating. The way I communicate depends on who I’m talking with. My friends at college I message, my tutors I communicate verbally and over email and my family and boyfriend I use the phone and face to face communication.

Some people with autism like to write down what they want to say, I used to use this method of communication a lot and found it quite helpful, so would highly recommend this method if you struggle talking about your problems.


I think most people think autistic people don’t have many friends and TV programmes about autism also show this, like The A word shows Joe always on his own and Atypical shows Sam only has one friend. This is the case for me I don’t really remember much of my primary school experience but in high school I only had one friend, she’s still my friend now but I don’t see her a lot anymore and when I do I get nervous and don’t really speak much. In high school I also used to sit next to this tree on my own.

At sixth form I made a few friends but mainly in my second year, I also talked to some A levels who I stay in contact with now.

School life

My high school wasn’t incredibly good, I didn’t really get any support. When I got my diagnosis, they allowed me an hour a week of speech and language. After high school I moved onto a sixth form which had two classrooms for Pathways which was a group of students who struggled with daily tasks and needed a little extra support. I loved it here the classes were small, highest of 6 pupils in a class and I was supported a lot.

Currently I am in college studying a level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social care and I feel I am doing quite well.

My calm down space

Everybody, not just autistic people but neurotypicals too like to have a place where they can go and be alone. For me this is my bedroom, I share a room with my sister, but I go on the top bunk and listen to music. I find music really helps to calm me when I’m stressed and make me happy.

Feelings and Emotions

A lot of people with ASD struggle with their feelings and emotions, I am one of them. I feel over the years I have improved as five years ago I thought everything was either happy, sad, or mad. Personally, with my feelings I struggle processing them and if something is on my mind, I find it hard to talk and let it build up which usually causes a meltdown.

I am very literal, not even five years ago I took idioms very literally. Some of the sayings were:

  • It’s raining cats and dogs – I used to think this literally meant cats and dogs but now I know it means it’s raining a lot.
  • Thinking outside of the box – this means to think differently but not even 2 years ago a teacher said this and I spent ages looking for a box thinking to myself how we can when there’s no box in here.

To help me learn I went over idiom cards and remembered them.

Good things and Achievements in my life

The word autistic doesn’t define people and it doesn’t mean they can’t do or achieve things in their lives. I have done many good things:

  • I passed my GCSE’s except for my Maths. I didn’t feel id do well and I don’t think everybody else did either the way they reacted when I got my results. I feel really proud of myself and it proved to me just because I’m autistic I can still do things that neurotypicals do.
  • In sixth form we took part in Arts Award, which is like Drama to help us gain confidence. One play we did was Cinderella, they gave me the part playing the guest because I was really quiet. One of the lessons the step sister wasn’t in and I had to step in, I did really well at it so they offered me the part of the step sister.
  • The pathways area at sixth form was separate from A levels, we had assemblies with A levels though and were encouraged to eat down in the hub with A levels. In my first year I started talking to two A levels who were the Worship co-ordinaters. I still talk to one of them now sometimes even though I don’t see him. In my second year I started to see these three A levels and would eat lunch next to them and occasionally talk to them. I am now in a relationship with one of them and have been for a year.
  • In my current college I have completed two placements, one at a supported living house for people with mental health issues and the other in an old peoples home. The supported living one was too much for me it was loud and scary most times and there was no help or support of the staff regarding my autism.
  • My all-time proudest achievement was when I had an audition for the Tv soap Hollyoaks. I applied and they sent me a script to learn, I managed to memorise all of the lines. I didn’t get offered the part, but they were impressed at how well I did especially at remembering the lines, so they said they are keeping my details. I also got a sneaky peak at the set and met Nicki Sanderson and Ruby ‘o’ Donnel.>

I wouldn’t be who I am today or have achieved all of the amazing things without the support of my family and friends, especially my Mum and Step- mum.

Thank you for taking the time to read about My Autism and me.


I’m Mark. I am 16 years old and I have lots of disabilities, including autism.

I was 10 ½ when my mum finally got the doctors to say ‘yes he has autism’. Overall I’m not bothered by being called autistic, but when people look on the internet or make jokes about autism, I can get offended by it.

Being autistic does mean who I am, but it’s a part of my personality, nothing else. It does NOT define who I am! I enjoy Minecraft and fortnite, my X-box/switch games. I am learning to ride a scooter, when this lockdown is over I am looking forward to having lessons again.

I miss my friends, but we video-call so it is not as bad. I miss volunteering with autism groups because I like hanging around with other kids like me. Primary school was ok. I had a couple of good friends and one of them had a teaching assistant who would help me when I needed it. Sometimes she would take just the two of us to do fun activities which I enjoyed.

High school was hard. I didn’t get as much help that I needed and things were confusing sometimes. Mum says that I am a grey area kid because I need help but I don’t look bad enough to get it. I have left school now (im happy I do not have to take the exams haha), and I am looking forward to going to Runshaw college (hopefully) in September.

I want to study childcare and in the future I would love to work as a holiday childcare rep. In 2019, I won an award at the North West Charity Awards. It was Young ambassador of the year. I felt like it was a dream, and am very thankful for the help my family and the charities I have both been helped by, and now volunteer with, gave me.
I look forward to seeing all my friends again!


hello I'm Ellen I'm 14 years old and have a diagnosis of autism I enjoy reading playing games both video and board writing horse riding and bowling I have a viewpoint of the world that the world is made for people without additional needs and anyone with these needs and up fighting a fight for all their life to the point they aren't aware there fighting anymore but reach bowling bridges the gap and takes a flight from us for a while I've made many friends at reach and I'm really glad I did it really is a place of safety and fun


Hi my name is Max I am 11 yrs old I live with my mum dad and twin sister Astrid I have been using p2go for 4 yrs I use it on an iPad and sometimes on my mums phone, in lockdown my mum has helped me to read books with it

We have launched ‘Spectrum Voices’ as it’s important all voices are heard, being a parent led community group we understand how all our children and young people are different and it’s important to share.

Our stories feature voices from across the autism spectrum. There are stories, from autistic children and young people, and also from families and carers. We post our stories on social media to raise awareness and for our events and campaigns .

We really hope you enjoy them. From time to time, we post on our Facebook group, our page and also on Instagram and Twitter, to let you know we are looking for more stories, sometimes these are general stories, sometimes they are specific like how you experience the shops or the airport, or how was school for you as an autistic person or for your family or carer.

If you would like to send in a story or have any questions, please email our Team at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read Our Stories


REACH North West provide a range of services, for families of autistic children or other learning difficulties. Our services include training sessions, support services and our 'In-home outreach' services.


Our courses are designed for both parents and children using a bespoke multi disciplinary approach. These courses have a huge impact on a child's ability to overcome many barriers and communicate effectively.

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REACH North West hire venues and provide access to environments they otherwise may not be able to access such as bowling, lunch clubs and Santa visits. These activities allow children to socialise with peers in a safe and often differentiated environment.

Social Activities

REACH North West provide parent and carers with activities that aim to bring parent and carers together and form a network of support with those that understand. The activities include lunch clubs, get togethers and workshops.


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