Under his own steam Kieran travels on the tram

July 13, 2018

Kieran’s ultimate goal to gain independence just got one step closer this week when he travelled three stops by himself on the Tram in Manchester. One, of several steps planned to support him in achieving his long-term aspiration, Kieran is happy to share his journey so far and this important milestone.

Kieran had spent a number of years in a variety of settings before being admitted to hospital as previous providers struggled to meet his needs and manage behaviours that others can find a challenge. He then moved to Consensus’ service, Cheshire House in Manchester.

Living with complex autism, Kieran has benefitted from restrictive and firm boundaries, agreed with the team using a Positive Behaviour Support approach. After two years, with the team at Cheshire House, intense work and a brief hospital admission in the middle, Kieran is now engaging with supportive plans to increase his abilities and independence. His next intermediate goal is to find a volunteer gardening opportunity, which will require a lot of careful planning and consideration. He and the support team at Cheshire House have worked closely with Consensus’ Positive Behaviour Support Team to develop strategies that will help Kieran as he works towards his goals.

In order to make sure Kieran can look for volunteering roles and make any required journeys for interviews and or work the team have begun with supported travel training. Their support began in January and during the first couple of months Kieran was shadowed by a support worker to go into the station and onto the tram. The journey takes in three stops completing with Kieran being met by his parents.

Each time Kieran made the journey a team member would complete a short record of it detailing what had gone well, not so well and how they could improve both the support, experience and outcomes on the next journey. Kieran was able to voice throughout the process, how he felt and what he struggled with, colleagues would also note down their thoughts. Any concerns raised would be addressed on the next trip. After the team gathered sufficient evidence and addressed every issue Kieran was eventually able to go on the tram by himself!

Kieran still receives support with getting to the tram station but with support and advice from the team he is travelling on the tram on his own.

1:1 sessions were implemented during the travel training process which entails Kieran meeting with his support team regularly to discuss all the things that bother him, would like to change and to go over any incidents that he may have had, which helps to keep him focussed.

All is going well so far, and Kieran is looking forward to the next steps which he hopes will include going to the station on his own or going further than the current three stops.

His team have also been mindful of other travel skills being required and so have shifted the focus to also include planning for shadowed walks to the local shops. The outcomes are being scoped and are scoped out to include the responsibility to buy milk for the service, Cheshire House.

Kieran likes this idea as it may move him toward his desire for further independence, whilst also increasing his confidence

Reflecting on Kieran’s journey Chris, Service Manager of Cheshire House proudly shares;  “Kieran’s journey has been an interesting experience for everyone involved. When I first met him, there were lots of incidents and Kieran was really struggling with daily life. Working closely with his family, community Learning Disability team and of course Kieran himself, we have been able to improve the environment he lives in, moving forward to develop his skills at home and in the community. The Cheshire House team are wholly invested in encouraging and maximising the potential of everyone we support, to have fulfilling and meaningful lives. What strikes me particularly about this journey is the positive risk taking which has enabled Kieran to develop. I am immensely proud of his achievements and the dedication of the team that support him.”

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