Andrew’s Story – Grovelands Farmhouse

May 23, 2016

Grovelands is a farmhouse set in vast open land with fantastic views of rolling fields with a working farm next to the house. Andrew came to live at Grovelands Farmhouse in 2002 aged just 18. Living with Autism and Epilepsy he was used to having around 50 seizures a day. The support team at Grovelands are fully trained to support those living with Autism and so ensured that the support provided to Andrew was tailored to meet his needs and met his aspirations and goals for his life.

Andrew had been so challenged by Autism for such a long time that he could not go shopping. It had become such a source of stress it would affect his everyday life at home and limit his social life. He would pick items in a shop that he fancied and would refuse to leave the shop until the items had been purchased for him, sometimes barging into the elderly and children in order to satisfy his needs quickly.

With professional support from his GP and through liaising with the full support team at Grovelands, his family the right medication was agreed and administered for Andrew’s Epilepsy. Andrew’s behaviours that would in the past have challenged others, are now fully understood and managed. Andrew is a young man who is thriving, becoming more confident and assertive in himself and going months without PRN (medication that is given as needed). His seizures are mostly nocturnal and these are reducing significantly sometimes with just one a month being recorded, nowhere near the 50 a day Andrew endured previously.

Life has turned a corner for Andrew, who now shops frequently without incident for his own clothes, initially with two support workers from Grovelands. Last Christmas he went present shopping for his parents and is now progressing so well that he shops with just one support worker.

Andrew now works, four days a week on the Farm after expressing a desire to visit and loves it. He also spends time regularly at his local social club with the many friends he has made there enjoying Arts and Crafts activities and dancing. Andrew has developed a keen interest in Arts and Crafts and the team support him to attend ‘Dayspace’ each Friday where he focusses on creativity and artistry, encouraging him to explore and express his individuality through various artistic processes and using a variety of mediums.

Maintaining a good family life is also played a huge part in Andrew’s progress and is hugely important to him. Andrew visits his family, who are very supportive, every third weekend.

Developing in confidence and building upon his growing skills and interests Andrew makes a meal one night a week for himself and his housemates. He chooses a meal from a very varied modern ‘MENU Book’ that is changed every season. The MENU Book contains colourful images of commonly eaten dishes which gives Andrew very clear control over his menu choices, Andrew is fully supported when preparing this meal. He is involved in writing the list of numbered items to buy, then goes shopping for them sticking to the agreed list.