AUTISM With Attitude street dance group, from Hillingdon Manor School, have changed perceptions of young people with autism by finishing second in the European United Dance Organisations Championships in Germany.

Hillingdon Manor provides specialist education and support to pupils aged 3-19 with autism.

The street dance troupe faced competition in their category from 15 other teams from across Europe. No other group had special needs.

Dance teacher Jonathan Baron said the high standard did not deter them.

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“We went there with the mentality of champions,” he said. “Our goal was not to win but to change the way people look at disability.”

Introduced on stage as simply “AWA”, the group were able to perform alongside their rivals without preconceptions or special favours.

The judges were completely unaware of the students’ autism before awarding their scores.

Mr Baron said “This experience has bolstered their confidence and they will be able to take this forward into other areas of life.”

Autism With Attitude’s success qualifies them to compete in the UDO World Championships in Glasgow in August.