Andrew’s Story- Frinton House
*names have been changed to protect privacy
Andrew went from ‘withdrawn and unfulfilled’ to ‘engaged and sociable’ in just 12 months thanks to highly effective observation and support from his key worker, below reads his story.
Andrew, a 50 year old man with autism, severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, moved to Frinton House 14 months ago following a period in a larger home. A series of review meetings were held before the move involving Andrew’s Mother, a Social worker and his Key Worker. These meetings evaluated that a more focused environment such as Frinton House (6 beds) would provide greater opportunities for Andrew to improve his communication skills and develop independence.
When he arrived at Frinton House, Andrew displayed challenging behaviour and struggled to interact with his peers. At 50, there was concern that he would find it difficult to settle into new surroundings and that the situation may increase Andrew’s anxiety.
To negotiate this transition period, Andrew was provided with very close support. Andrew’s key worker observed him for a significant period of time in order to fully understand the triggers of his challenging behaviour. He responded well to sensory stimulus, particularly anything involving a rhythm or a beat. As such, his key worker supported him in looking at college courses involving music.
Time was then taken to gradually build Andrew’s confidence in stages towards attending a local college. Andrew was initially taken to a college attended by two of his peers. He joined an established group and, whilst coping well, it became apparent that he would benefit from a course with increased practical elements to the learning. They found a singing and drumming course, which appeared well suited given Andrew’s love of music and offered the practical aspects that Andrew enjoyed.
Andrew has now been attending the evening course for several weeks. With each session lasting two hours, Andrew is able to meet and interact with others in an environment in which he feels comfortable. Andrew is developing a level of independence through developing a skill which he has an active interest in. Consequently Andrew’s self esteem has improved and his family has noticed the progress he has made in a short space of time, with his Mother telling us:
“I am very pleased with Andrew’s progress. In the short time he has been living at Frinton House, I have never seen him happier.”
Whilst it is early days, Andrew and his key worker are already looking towards securing places on future courses. Andrew’s Key Worker added:
“When I first met Andrew, we was withdrawn and unfulfilled. There had been a lot of false starts in trying to get him involved in activities, resulting in him not participating in any social activities.
The observation period was important in fully understanding what makes him tick and what he enjoys – that way we could find something that would engage him and bring his personality out.
Andrew has made enormous progress in a short space of time. He now learns through the college about the theory behind music, socialises with his peers and he even took part in the end of term music production with the group.”
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