Despite an autism diagnosis, Michael is enthusiastic about and capable of a wide variety of activities – the support he needs from us is in safely and independently accessing those activities, and in particular in managing his anxieties.
Helping Michael to maximise his potential and well-being in these ways has been a deeply rewarding experience for those working with him.
Michael can communicate well verbally, but to supplement this we use Makaton and writing to help him make himself heard and understood. All staff who work with Michael have been specially trained to Makaton Level 1 and 2 to ensure this is always the case, as well as to allow Michael’s own use of Makaton to improve. In addition, we use the Picture Exchange Communications System (PECS) with Michael, and have a timetable and now/next board at the centre to which he can refer for a sense of structure and consistency.
Since joining us at Solutions Social Care, Michael has taken part and shown great improvement in a range of physical exercises including dancing, running, stretching and cycling; not only do these provide him with stimulation and enjoyment, but they contribute to improving his health and weight, and thus his overall quality of life. Dancing is in fact a special favourite of Michael’s, and we do everything we can to encourage and support him in doing this with staff and his peers.
Helping Michael with his self-esteem and anxiety issues, and to develop new skills such as cooking and independent travel, is a genuine pleasure, and we look forward to continuing to watch him thrive and grow.