Paul* moved into New Stead House in December 2014. He has a diagnosis of autism, a moderate learning disability and pica.
When Paul first moved into the service, staff found him difficult to manage as he would become very overstimulated, excitable and engage in destructive behaviours. Staff found it very challenging to support him to focus on tasks and access the community safely.
With consistent support, input and guidance from our PBS practitioner, Paul is now able to access a wide range of activities his support workers previously did not think would be possible, even recently supporting him to successfully go to the next town on a bus.
Food preparation and cooking had also previously been a huge challenge as a result of Paul’s diagnosis of pica and his short attention span. Despite this, Paul now regularly makes buns and prepares meals with his staff. His attention span has increased and he can finish household tasks.
Over the last 12 months, members of Paul’s core team have undertaken intensive interaction training and have built the techniques they learnt into his daily living routine. His staff understand the importance of some of Paul’s self-stimulatory behaviours such as flicking water and grass that help Paul manage his own environment. They are able to use this to support Paul to undertake new tasks, as well as communicating with Paul in a way that shows him he is appreciated and valued as a person.
Paul’s mood is now much more stable and he has a routine which he is supported to follow using visual aids and a now and next board. Staff ensure that their approach is consistently calm and their body language is neutral as too much visual ‘noise’ can be overstimulating for Paul. His speech and language has improved, as well as his social interaction with others.
Staff tailor their communication to meet his needs using simply structured sentences and promote positive behaviour with the reward of swapping one of his preferred items out of his box. He has even been able to share items with other people he lives with during group activities.
Paul’s support staff are currently working on a photo album with him as his community nurse who has been involved with Paul for years can’t believe the positive progress he has made whilst at New Stead House.
*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality