Benjamin Morgan-Jones and his wife, Lowri, described their experience at school as “hell.” Undiagnosed autism, bullying at school, and a lack of academic assistance plagued the 26-year-olds at the time.
At the age of four, his parents were informed that Benjamin had a “learning delay,” but it wasn’t until he was 14 that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s, an autistic spectrum disorder. As a result, he felt he didn’t do as well academically as he might have.
In college, Benjamin, who had just two GCSES when he graduated from high school, retook the exams and went on to get a bachelor’s degree in teaching with a focus on child development and psychology. He hopes that schools are becoming more aware of autism, but he worries that they are not. Being “happy slapped” on a school trip, when his tormentors were recording his emotions as they struck him, was one of his lowest points. He stated it was only one of several instances in which he was tormented at Wrexham’s Ysgol Clywedog.
When Ben enrolled at Coleg Cambria to re-sit his examinations and BTECs in art and design and performing arts, things started to alter. Wrexham Glyndwr University in Wrexham accepted Benjamin after he received BTEC distinctions in education and childhood studies, which led to his PGCE in secondary teaching earlier this month.
He has decided that he wants to help other kids, particularly neurodiverse ones, who are having difficulty in their educational pursuits. At Wrexham Glyndwr University, Benjamin began helping other students organize their academic work and has now created Upgrade, a non-profit social venture to “reduce the IQ and achievement gap at university.”
Student pressure at Wrexham Glyndwr University is mounting as a result of delayed and missed education caused by the pandemic’s victims’ experience of bullying. The National Lottery Community Fund has given the former victim of bullying a grant of £10,000 (approx. 12,287.50 USD). Additionally, he has a number of private clients from throughout the UK, including several from the country’s finest colleges. The children Benjamin works with aren’t being tutored in academics, but rather how to better organize and plan their tasks and identify any gaps.
To assist students in the preparation of their tasks, he leads them via online seminars on a weekly basis. When it comes to keeping on track and remaining organized, neurodiverse individuals face a number of challenges. “Some of the students I work with are neuro diverse, some not and others are not diagnosed yet. Because of the way my brain is wired I am a pattern spotter and can see what they need to go into more depth or different angles in their assignments.”
The company is co-managed by Benjamin’s wife, Lowri, who was similarly tormented in school and was only diagnosed with autism and ADHD at age 25 last year. The exhaustion of attempting to grasp societal norms As a teenager, Lowri stated she was on the verge of a breakdown at St. Joseph’s High School in Wrexham. “I look back on school with sadness. I feel sad for my young self and all the pressure to be normal.”