The first links and visits with children with autism to the farm: 1982-2001

Lydia began working with children with autism in the 1970s while she qualified as a teacher, with a special interest in music therapy. She moved back to Pennyhooks in 1982 after her mother died, when her father needed more help with the farm. She also worked as a home tutor teaching a seven year old autistic boy called Dan.

He soon began to visit the farm, and in the nineties Dan and Lydia began an association with the Oxfordshire Autism Service (then known as the Chinnor Unit), when he became a student and Lydia was invited to teach there. She taught music, communication skills, and helped to develop a post-nineteen service within a local college under the auspices of the late Mrs Sheila Coates, who headed the service. She also invited groups of children to visit the farm.In the late 1990’s Geoff suffered a stroke & Frank retired and Lydia took an increasing role in running the farm, with the help of her brother Andrew and family friend Richard Hurford.

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