Gareth’s Story – Little Smugglers – Moving in, moving on
Gareth is on the Autistic Spectrum and has severe learning difficulties he moved into Little Smugglers in mid- July 2017 and has settled in very well.
In his previous home, Gareth spent a lot of time on his own and left to his own devices he did not do many activities and when offered them he refused. Gareth also had his own quiet room and chose to utilise this frequently.
When Gareth moved in with the team at Little Smugglers he was shy at first, but one of the supported individuals, who also lives in the home, soon went in and gave him a welcome hug Gareth then spent most of his first week getting to know the rest of his housemates and gets on with them all.
Gareth now actively seeks out company which he did not do when he first moved in. He is now happy to sit in a room with other people and no longer wants or needs his own quiet room. He enjoys to throw toys at support colleagues encouraging them to play catch with him.
Little Smugglers has a trampoline in the back garden and when Gareth was asked if he would like to go on this he indicated that he would. It turns out that Gareth is a keen trampoline artist and will enthusiastically bounce away for hours! We are now looking for a local club for him to attend.
We have reintroduced Gareth to swimming which he really loves, it was something he did very occasionally when living in his previous home.
In order to achieve this we have had to slowly reintroduce the new place for him to swim as Gareth is autistic. In the late summer Gareth even went to a music festival, which is such an achievement because of his needs.
Gareth also loves his long walks in the Ashdown Forest with support colleagues running behind him as he walks with purpose! Gareth has come a very long way since moving in and has been good for the support team’s health too.