What Parents Say

We are happy to say Curt has gained valuable life skills during his academic tenure at ESPA.  He has come out of his shell and is more interactive at social gatherings.

He had the opportunity to attend some amazing workshops where he learned different artwork that helped develop his creative skills.

We are deeply grateful to you and your team (North Rye) for the continuous support and guidance rendered.

Curt’s parents


Sophie has attended ESPA College at South Hill since September 2015.  To date it has been a positive and enjoyable time for her; we know she is very content.

The College staff are amazing in they support Sophie in every way creating amazing opportunities, for example; a return flight to London with British Airways to promote the Autism Friendly Passport, works experience at the Wetlands café and Sainsbury’s supermarket too.

She has blossomed and grown in confidence and we are so grateful she has been able to attend such an amazing facility.

Sophie is involved in social enterprise projects using a sewing machine to make repairs and clothes and work on clothing alterations.  She is educated in the importance of health and fitness and has achieved academic success in creative writing and maths.

Sending our daughter to ESPA College has been one of the best decisions we have made!

Sophie’s parents.


I know the care and support Glen receives at Ashleigh College is excellent and that no other service would be able to provide the autism specific care Glen requires to the very same high standard.

Glen’s father.


Since starting at ESPA my daughter has made more progress in all aspects than she did in the last four years of school.  She is more confident, happy and has even started to get along with her peers, something she was never able to before.  She has been participating in things that she would have not done before and really enjoys taking part in social evenings with other students.  She, to my amazement, went abroad for a week with her dance studio/group and enjoyed her time with people form a number of European countries.  I thank and would credit the staff at ESPA for this amazing change and that in such a short time.

Jasmine’s mother.


South Hill staff show such dedication to students achieving good outcomes for adulthood, truly exceptional staff!

Jamie’s mother


We are eternally grateful to all of you at North Rye and Ashleigh.  Without your encouragement, patience and belief Oliver would not have achieved his work placement at the Theatre Royal.   Many thanks to you all.

Oliver’s father


ESPA treats every student as an individual and takes time to work out what helps them to flourish, and it works.

The dedicated staff at ESPA all work hard with students, parents and other agencies alike to create a supportive and capable environment that equips students with the essential skills and qualifications they require to move forward and achieve their goals in life.  MORE IMPORTANTLY THEY PROVIDE OPPORTUNTIES TO USE AND PRACTICE THESE NEWLY ACQUIRED SKILLS.

We are lucky to have this service in MyPlace, Middlesbrough. It brings hope to many students with autism and their families by providing a way back to education, especially when other doors and avenues have been closed to them.

Joseph’s mother


Christine was really scared to do a lot of things and she was so immature.  Since starting at ESPA staff supported her and now she’s blossomed into a confident mature young girl and I can’t believe the difference in her.

Friendships?… Well, before she had no friends and was very wary especially around young boys, just males in general.  She has got a lot of friends here and nine out of ten of them are male and she definitely  gives as good as she gets.   She’s got an answer now for anything to anybody.  Whereas before she was just sitting in a corner cowering.  She wouldn’t speak to anyone, but she’s come right out of her shell since being with ESPA.  I also feel that Christine feels part of a family.  It’s a family atmosphere at ESPA; everybody knows each other and looks after each other.  It’s just one big family and it’s changed Christine’s life and, to be honest, it’s changed mine as well!

Christine's Mum

“James personal development and social development has been phenomenal. No one would ever have thought he would be taking part in gigs… we were gobsmacked”

“No one will ever know what James future will hold but long may it continue with ESPA, as I cannot think of a better place that could cater for his needs”

“ESPA staff are the most dedicated people within a college environment and give our kids the best possible education they could”

James' Mum

Before Stephen came to ESPA he would fly off the handle, fight, punch, kick whatever … Since coming to ESPA he’s just a totally different son.  He can handle things a lot better, he’s just loads happier.  Since Autism4Heroes and Stephen getting involved with that, he’s just a totally different boy; even his brothers and sisters have noticed the difference.  He just loves being at home and he loves coming to ESPA and being in the band and singing.  He just loves enjoying himself.

Stephen's Mum

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