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Meet Oliver

Oliver has been diagnosed

with autism spectrum disorder

(ASD) which affects his speech

and language skills, social

communication, and his attention,

listening and cognitive skills.

Oliver has been at Prior's Court

since 2017 and began working

in the bakery in the 2019/20

academic year.

Initially, Oliver would become

extremely anxious about coming

into the bakery as changes to his

existing routine can cause real

anxiety. This anxiety

would lead to




Oliver to avoid having to go in the


Subsequently, once he was

comfortable in the bakery

environment, Oliver would have

issues around having to take his

uniform off to complete an activity

such as a delivery of bread or to

go to the toilet as he felt once his

uniform was off, his time in the

bakery was finished.

However, in just two months

either side of the 2020 school

summer holiday, Oliver made

exceptional progress, going from

a level 4 ('supported participation')

to a level 7 ('exploration') working


As of October 2020, Oliver has

been able to develop the skills to

weigh out a range of ingredients,

use the commercial mixer and

small mixer, and then go on to

knead, scale, mould, prove and

bake. He is now also able to

take off his uniform, complete

an activity (such as using

the toilet) and then put his

uniform back on without


Oliver can weigh a range

of ingredients but needs

support understanding

the number and the

maths behind the

number on the scale,

so the bakery team

are working towards

him understanding

whether he needs

more or less ingredient

on the scale.

During the Christmas

period, Oliver could

independently mix, knead,

roll, cut and bake sweet pastry

for mince pies and gingerbread

for gingerbread men, with support

only required for weighing.

Positive impacts

Bread & Beyond Job Coach Laura

Parker has observed in Oliver: "He

is always happy and engaged in

the bakery. When I collect him

from his house he always jumps

up and signs "mixing" to me and

gets his shoes straight on."

Oliver has developed skills that

are functional across his life,

such as being able to ask for

help and being able to ask the

Bread & Beyond team for more

or tell them when something has


Oliver has grown in confidence

massively and the team rarely

see any incidents of self-injurious

behaviour in the bakery anymore -

he is really positive and engaged.

The current ambition for Oliver is

to develop more skills surrounding

different breads and bread


To find out more about

Bread & Beyond, go to

Casestudy - Oliver's baking skills on the rise

Bread & Beyond is a social enterprise,

formally launched in 2019, with the purpose

of supporting young people at Prior's Court

to become bakers by providing experience of

work, and creating amazing food.

Baking really suits the strength and skills of people

with autism; it is highly process driven, practical

and with an end product which is rewarding and

motivating. As of October 2020, 11 of our young

people are accessing the bakery at least once a week.

An additional benefit is the array of complementary

skills which are also learnt. For example, the

weighing out of ingredients aids understanding of

mathematics, communication, gross and fine motor

abilities, and listening skills. All of these skills can

then be generalised into other areas of life.




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