Friday, May 25 was a big day for Letham lad Ross Gauld as he became Angus College’s youngest graduate of their European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) course at the age of 12!
Ross started working for the EDCL when he was only ten and a P7 pupil at Letham Primary.
Ross has autistic spectrum disorder and was so anxious about his forthcoming transition to Forfar Academy that he had a breakdown and mum, Karen, was forced to home-school him for several months.
“I looked for educational activities which Ross could do at home so that I could try and keep him in routine,” says Karen.
“I spoke to Amanda Craig, Angus College’s learning technology suite officer, about distance learning opportunities and she suggested the ECDL.”
Even after returning to school, Ross kept up his studies as a hobby as he enjoyed it so much.
Now a pupil in the High Functioning Autism Unit (HighFAB) at Forfar Academy, Ross only attends mainstream classes part-time as he finds the social aspects extremely demanding.
He has had two further breakdowns in S1 but has persevered with his ECDL, and has now established an Angus College record.
Ross says: “These last few years have been pretty tough for me but doing this course always made me feel better about myself.
“My disability makes me different but I can achieve things with the right support.”
Ross has received support from Amanda and tutors Bobbie Lawson and Mags Kilcullen.
“I loved coming to Angus College to do my exams,” he adds. “Everyone was always kind to me. I think I’m going to apply to do the small animal care course when I leave school. I think I’ll like it because the staff really care.”