Sheffield teacher achieves national recognition

Robert Harris.

Robert Harris.

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A Sheffield teaching assistant is celebrating for the second time in a year after being presented for a certificate for his outstanding work with vulnerable children.

Robert Harris, a higher level teaching assistant from Fir Vale Secondary School was nominated for the Pearson Group teaching assistant of the year award.

Rob, who himself has Asperger’s Syndrome, finished in the top five beating off competition from over 4,000 candidates.

He was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Pearson Group for his outstanding work with disadvantaged children in Sheffield.

Rob was also nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award by an autism charity for his work with children with autism, both at school and in the local community.

He has worked with children with autism for over a decade and also carries out work to educate people about the condition.

A spokeswoman said Rob’s Asperger’s made his story even more of an achievement, because he faced problems daily due to his condition.

Asperger’s Syndrome is one of a range of developmental disorders known as autistic spectrum disorders, or ASD.

These disorders begin in childhood and stay with the person into their adult life.

Around 1 in 100 people in the UK are thought to have an ASD.

It means those diagnosed with ASDs suffer delays in the development of their basic skills, most notably the ability to socialise with others, to communicate and to use imagination.

Rob is currently studying for his second degree, despite leaving school with few qualifications.

The spokeswoman added: “Rob is one of the most modest people you could ever meet and is very humble about the work he does, he deserves to be recognised for his outstanding work.”