Ryan lives at Oaklands, one of our adult residential care homes in Theale, Reading. Before moving to Oaklands, Ryan lived with his family and attended school until he was 20 years old. He found it difficult to adjust after leaving school and was in an adult treatment unit before transitioning into Oakland.
Ryan is autistic and has high levels of challenging behaviour, so structure and routine are very important to him. Sometimes Ryan can hurt himself when upset and has broken some of his belongings. Ryan found the lack of routine after leaving school difficult and, like most adults, found that not having his independence while still living in the family home challenging.
Starting his journey
Our team first met Ryan in Campion, which is a short to medium term assessment and treatment unit for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs. Ryan had been in Campion three times due to previous transitions not working out, including a living placement.
The team at Campion helped Ryan with routine and structure, and it became a safe place for Ryan to be. Because of this, the longer he stayed in the unit, the more difficult it would be to transition into his new home.
Transition into Oaklands
Ryan loves being near to his family, so his new home needed to be close by. Because of COVID-19, our initial assessment with Ryan took place virtual over Microsoft Teams. Here we chatted about what is important to Ryan, and how we could support him to achieve his goals, plus showed him a virtual tour of Oaklands.
Based on Ryan’s support needs, we included our behavioural practitioner when beginning the transition planning. This was to ensure that our skilled team were fully trained to understand Ryan’s reactions as well as recognising triggers to his behaviour.
The transition presented some challenges, especially during lockdown, but we worked with Ryan, his family and professionals to help it feel as smooth as possible. It was felt that a short transition would be better for Ryan. It was vital that Ryan’s staff understood his routine, especially during the night, for him to feel safe when moving into Oaklands. Due to COVID-19 our team couldn’t visit Ryan at Campion, so some of the Oakland team met him for a walk in the park instead. COVID-19 also meant that Ryan couldn’t visit Oaklands in person, so visits in the local community were arranged instead. After the initial four-week transition, it was time for Ryan to move into Oaklands. Although he was feeling relaxed and engaged well with the team initially, he did start to get anxious towards the evening and indicated he wanted to go back to the unit.
Moving into somewhere new can feel scary, and it was important that this transition moved at the right pace for Ryan. Because of this, we continued to work with Ryan over the next three months before trying his first night at Oaklands again. During this time, there were lots more virtual calls, additional training, visits and chats before it was the right time for Ryan to successfully join the Oaklands family.
Six months later…
Ryan is now thriving at Oaklands with no incidents of self-harming or behaviours that challenge since the day he moved in, which is such an amazing achievement! There has been an increase in his verbal communication and a willingness to try new things. After talking to Ryan about his personal goals, the team are currently supporting Ryan to look for volunteer work and he has also taken a keen interest into reflexology, which he tells the team he really enjoys.
Ryan really likes being part of the household, this includes having a structured day and deciding what works for him. Ryan also like to support the team in wiping door handles as part of the COVID-19 procedure, which increases his daily living skills, sense of belonging and self-esteem. Because Ryan likes to know about changes, we ensure that there is consistent clear communication, updating him on any upcoming changes and allowing him to voice any concerns he has. The team support his independence by offering a variety of choices, he likes to pick what activities he does within his 1-2-1 hours depending on how he is feeling on the day. Our managers check in with Ryan every day, giving him time to offload any worries he may have.
Although Ryan was a little unsure about Oaklands initially, we worked with him to make sure that he has settled into his new home and now enjoys his independence!
*Some of the details have been changed for confidentiality reasons.
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