Over the past three years, Autism at Kingwood have worked very intensively with John. As a result of Autism at Kingwood’s work, John has really developed as an adult. He now has an active life in the community. He has begun to use verbal communication along with Makaton.
John has gained several ASDAN qualifications in the Transition Challenge including:
- Making Choices
- Feeling Good
- Independent Living
- Sound, Rhythm and Music and Meal Preparation and Cooking.
John will soon be ready to move away from Kingwood College into his own home.
Edward has been supported by Autism at Kingwood for eight years since moving in to Beeching Way, Wallingford in 2008. During this time, he has become more confident in communicating his needs through body language, signing and gestures. Edward now understands staff requests a lot better, with the help of Makaton signing, gestures and the use of photographs.
Edward has also become a lot more confident with accessing the community.
Edward’s favourite activities out in the community are:
- Wheels for All (Cycling)
- Horse riding
- Taking a walk along the riverside
- Theatre trips
Edwards biggest achievements out in the community include his trips to the theatre, which he really enjoys – The Lion King in London twice and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream coat in Oxford.
Over the past five years, Edward has completed and achieved five different ASDAN modules, which have empowered him to develop his independence skills and further increase his confidence.
Before moving into his own flat in August 2014, Arthur lived with his family at home, but struggled greatly with anxiety, which was particularly triggered by noise, lights, and changes to routine.
In early 2014, Arthur’s parents approached Autism at Kingwood, who suggested that Arthur might be happier in his own home where he would have a greater degree of autonomy and independence. However, all acknowledged it would take time to find a suitable property.
In the meantime Autism at Kingwood began to support Arthur from his parent’s home and he started to get to know his new support staff team. Arthur had to face all the difficulties and challenges associated with change and getting used to another set of people, however working with Autism at Kingwood, Arthur made steady progress.
In August 2014, a suitable place where Arthur could live alone was found. When Arthur first moved into his flat, his parents were a bit apprehensive, uncertain whether he could cope with being on his own. Arthur however did not look back!
Arthur thrives with the additional level of control with which living alone provides him. And, supported 1-1 by Autism at Kingwood, Arthur is now able to enjoy an enormous range of activities including:
• walking in the country side
• playing bowling
• horse riding sessions
• flying lessons
• going out to different places in his car with staff
Arthur is in regular contact with his Mum, Dad and Sister, often visiting them on a Sunday and they are delighted with Arthur’s progress and achievements.
Autism at Kingwood have been working alongside Dogs for Good to help introduce therapy dogs to the People We Support. Here is a case study from Dog’s for Good, working with one of the People We Support, Mark.
We first started training activity and therapy dogs in 2010. Since then, our Community Dog programme has gone from strength to strength, and we are continually exploring new ways which dogs can help people. From working in schools and hospitals, to supporting adults and young people with a range of special needs, our dogs are changing lives around the UK.
Autism at Kingwood works with adults with autism and Asperger’s to enable them to lead more independent lives. One of the people they support, Mark, comes to our training centre once a week to work with Fleck, an affectionate and loving Labrador cross retriever.
45 year old Mark has, for most of his life, been unable to go out without a support worker, finding the unpredictability of the world outside too overwhelming. Our Community Dog Handler, Sarah, and Mark’s Support Worker have worked together to design a range of activities with Fleck to help Mark improve his independence.
Mark has been walking on a dual lead with Fleck in parks and shopping centres, By taking responsibility for Fleck out in the community, Mark has learned he is capable of looking after his own needs, as well as the dog’s, and this has helped him become less dependant on support staff, ultimately leading to being able to go out alone.
Mark has also worked on tasks such as grooming and feeding Fleck, to encourage self-care, consideration of others, and also to help manage his anxiety. Sarah has witnessed a transformation in Mark in the year they have been working together. ‘When he starts his sessions with the dog the change is immediate. After leaving, he is a different person.’
Mark has also completed an ASDAN qualification on animal care, which has boosted his self esteem and confidence. He is now looking for a volunteering role for the future.
Mark’s support worker echoes Sarah’s words. ‘Mark is completely different now…the dogs have played a huge part in his new confidence. He used to never go out alone, now he goes out whenever he likes. His conversation and communication have developed and it turns out he has a really good sense of humour.’