Luke attends Heathermount, The Disabilities Trust's school in Ascot for young people with autism and Asperger syndrome. Heathermount focuses on 'real world learning' - using vocational settings to develop communication and social interaction skills alongside functional learning such as Maths, English and ICT.
Luke spends two days a week working at local stables. 'In school, Luke's patience can be easily exhausted but when working with horses he's a different person,' says Richard Dolinski of Heathermount. Richard sometimes takes along a laptop to the stables so that Luke can learn ICT using horse-related topics such as photography and spreadsheets about feed.
Luke hopes to go to the local agricultural college to do a formal qualification in horse care. 'I like working with horses because they have different personalities, just like people,' says Luke. 'I like cheeky horses - they remind me of people I know. I want to help people enjoy being with horses too. My ambition is to become a riding instructor.'