Buddies: social skills for children with special needs

Mason Milne takes part in schemes that boost his social skills and confidence (pic: Dimensions)

Making eye contact is difficult for Mason Milne, who has autism, and making friends is even harder. Yet the 11-year-old has met both challenges while at a special needs holiday club near his home in Colchester, Essex, over the last year.

“He’s come out of himself,” says his mother, Mandy. “He’s made a friend at his club and we’ve noticed how he will come up and speak a little more.” Mandy, 47, and husband, Gordon, 48, meanwhile, get some respite from caring, reassured that Mason is enjoying activities like swimming or roller skating.

Read more about how the Buddies programme for youngsters with learning disabilities and autism goes beyond providing respite care on the Guardian website.