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Not just coping but thriving

Ian is a charismatic gentleman who lives in Cornwall. Ian has autism, and over the years, he’s been on the outside looking in. Watching rather than engaging in most activities.

Change to routine

When the country went into lockdown, Ian’s routine abruptly changed. A lot of his usual activities stopped running and he had to spend more time at home. To help him cope better, his team supported him to transform his bedroom into a sanctuary. He started to develop a new routine, and clearly enjoys spending time in his new haven, on his own.

One day, not long after, Ian asked if he could join the men he lives with, in a game of dominoes. It might not sound like much but it’s something he’s never done before! We were surprised, but little did we know it was just the first of many surprises.

Owing to the current situation, Ian’s usual rebound therapy is closed. So that we could offer the choice to continue an activity the tenants look forward to, we set up our own rebound sessions using the garden trampoline. Ian doesn’t usually like changes to his activities, but amazingly, he tried it and thoroughly enjoyed bouncing about with the parachute floating above him. And he shared the session with two of the men he lives with.

New opportunities

Friday night is disco night here in Cornwall and we’ve recently been streaming live sets by a Facebook DJ, who’s the friend of a bank worker Ian has a good relationship with. Initially, Ian preferred just to watch – that was until we managed to secure a personal tablet device for him, kindly donated by CHG-MERIDIAN.

Last week, we connected sensory lights to the computer, and Ian was able to get involved in the disco – seeing and hearing the music. When the DJ spoke, Ian really laughed. It was lovely to see him understand and relate to what was going on. He really got it! The donated device has started to open a whole new world for him and it’s so exciting.

Expressing choice

Ian continues to surprise us on a regular basis, taking up new opportunities and expressing his wishes and choices without being prompted. There is no doubt in my mind, that for Ian, the lockdown has been nothing but positive. He’s not just coping but thriving, and it’s a delight and privilege to support him.

Karen Lutz
Team Leader and Autism Practitioner

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