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Finding his voice: autistic man talks for first time in five years after moving into Priory care home

Philip Cooper with his mumA music-loving, walking enthusiast has found his voice for the first time in five years.

Family of 49-year-old Philip Cooper, who has autism, have been amazed by the life-changing progress in his ability to communicate with family members and carers.

Philip - who has a learning disability and complex needs - came to live at Priory's Charnwood Lodge care home in Leicestershire.

Priory’s autism and learning disability specialists initially found Philip hadn’t spoken more than two words - ‘later’ and ‘tomorrow’ - during the past five years, having lost his speech following a period of past trauma. Yet within just a few weeks at the care home staff observed progress they had never imagined possible for Philip in such a short space of time. Carers have described his communication skills since moving into the home as ‘incredible’.

Philip’s brother Nigel Cooper, said: “We’re so proud of Philip. His vocabulary has really increased since his stay at Priory began. As a family, we are delighted.”

Keighley Mann, Home Manager at Priory Charnwood Lodge, said: “Philip is a lovely character and he fits right in here. When he first arrived with us in October, we were advised that he had significant needs and had been non-verbal for a number of years, but within just two weeks he began to talk to us! That was such a special moment and one I’ll never forget.

“This is what makes our job so special. We’re here to help people live their life, so to support someone like Philip is inspiring.

“He’s now communicating more and more. He’s reached a point where he socialises with staff and other residents in the home, he can talk to us about what he wants, and he gets out of the home into the community every day. We can tell that he feels comfortable, which has made all the difference. The progress he has made is incredible.” 

Philip’s passions include rock band music, long walks, meals out and visiting the airport to watch the planes, which he does with carers at the home as well as his family.

Keighley, who oversees Philip’s care at Priory Charnwood Lodge, said: “He has a lovely family, with a supportive mum and brother who visit him. He’s in the right place for his needs. Everyone is different and everyone faces different challenges, but we hope Philip’s story could be an inspiration for others with autism and learning difficulties.”

Priory Charnwood Lodge is a specialist residential home for people who are autistic or have a learning disability, and associated mental health needs, in Leicestershire. Carers aim to provide innovative person centred support programmes in a safe and enabling environment.

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For more information on the specialist services Priory Adult Care provides across the UK to support adults with a range of needs, please contact us today on 0808 208 2147. Alternatively, click here to complete a short enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.