"We are over the moon with the changes in Simon"

Simon is autistic and lives in West Bromwich, at one of our services which is working towards Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society. He is a very intelligent man and when frustrated can display dominant, challenging behaviours, especially towards female staff. He is not comfortable in crowds and historically has found other people hard to deal with.

Our staff are working with Simon to plan activities he will enjoy. He loves cars, so every day goes for a drive with two of our team. He also loves the outdoors so takes regular walks with his support workers. They are now working on reducing his stress in crowds so he can go bowling and swimming.

Previously, Simon chose to stay in his room for much of the day and ate all his meals there. Through positive reinforcement, our staff encouraged him to eat in the dining room with the other residents.

When Simon’s room was redecorated, staff added old photos of him doing things like canoeing, to remind him that he used to enjoy them and encourage him to take part in more activities. They included photos of him with female support workers to build positive associations.

To overcome Simon’s fear of hospitals, his support workers take him on regular visits with a meal as a treat at the end to make it less stressful for him if he needs to go to hospital in the future.

As a result of our team’s work with Simon, he is now much happier and displays fewer challenging behaviours. He joins in with household chores and takes part in planned activities, including regular visits to his parents’ home in Uttoxeter.

Simon’s mother says: “As parents, we are absolutely over the moon with the changes in Simon. We never thought we would find anyone who would understand, love and care for our son like his support workers do.

“While he still has his off days, Simon’s behaviour has improved tremendously. He is much better at mixing with other people and will sit at a table and eat with others. His overall health has improved as well and he has gone from having several seizures a day sometimes to two months without any.

“Simon is such a blessing. We have shed many tears but also laughed together. He is always pleased to see us on his visits and is happy to return home to West Bromwich. When he was living at a previous home he would never want to leave us after a visit, which was very distressing to see.

“Knowing that he is so much happier and more content has lifted such a weight of worry from us and we couldn’t be more delighted with the way the staff care for Simon. I can’t praise them enough.”