The TreeHouse Trust is a London-based charity, established in 1997 to provide an educational Centre of Excellence for children with autism. It was set up by a group of parents (including Nick) whose children had recently been diagnosed with autism. Nick tells us more about the charity, and about his personal experience with autism, below ...

My son Danny has autism. He is a lovely, happy, sunny, playful little boy. It wasn't always like that - just before he was two he went into a tailspin; regressing, losing words and skills he had previously had, grinding his teeth and shutting out the rest of the world. He seemed desperately alone and unhappy, and we felt we were losing him.

Autism is a particularly devastating disorder: an autistic child's development is erratic, unpredictable and shrouded in uncertainty. It is a life-long condition and the future for any child, upon diagnosis, can seem very bleak indeed. Even the basics, such as toilet training, and the forming of emotional bonds were things, we were told, he might never achieve.

Danny has been at TreeHouse for five years now. His progress is remarkable - he listens, he copies, he plays, he has fun, he has a special friend. This is something of a miracle given what the textbooks say about autism. He is affectionate and gentle. Danny's communication skills have developed dramatically.

TreeHouse is unique. Its children receive an education unlike anything else offered in the UK, which is why those of us involved are so passionate about our work. What is being provided to the 90,000 children with autism in the UK is hopelessly inadequate, which is why we want to share the pioneering work of TreeHouse. We want schools like TreeHouse to sprout up all over the country and we want to help many more teachers access the training that they need to engage, motivate and teach essential skills, in order that all children with autism can achieve their potential and live as independent a life as possible.

TreeHouse is incredibly proud of its achievements to date, which would not have been possible without the support of our many friends who give their precious time, money and energy to help us towards our vision that 'all children with autism will be empowered through whole life learning'. If you are considering joining us I encourage you to contact TreeHouse to discuss the many ways that you can help our cause; your support will be deeply appreciated. In the meantime, best wishes.

Nick Hornby
founding parent of TreeHouse
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Links to further information


Fundraising is very important to TreeHouse as we require over 700,000 in voluntary contributions each year, to continue our work. Without charitable support, TreeHouse could not maintain its intensive teaching and high quality resources offered to existing pupils or provide a nationally relevant solution to a growing national problem.

For more information email Susan Beck or call 020 8815 5430