Transforming Nathan’s life with consistent support

Nathan’s journey

Nathan is a person we support at Langley House, one of our specialist autism services in Somerset. He joined the service in November 2021, when his previous service suddenly closed. Nathan has autism and associated complex needs, so leaving his home so quickly was a challenging time for him.

At the time, Nathan returned to his family home to be supported by his parents. As Nathan requires 1-1 support throughout the day, this was a big adjustment, and his parents knew they needed to find a new care provider so his needs could be properly supported. That’s when they approached Voyage Care. With our expert teams and specialist autism support pathway, they knew that Nathan’s physical and emotional needs would be met. Plus, our person-centred approach gave them reassurance that his goals and aspirations would be at the heart of his support.

A new start

When Nathan first came into our care, he had many complex needs. As a person with autism, he presented challenging behaviours that were often related to anxiety. The strong relationship he shared with his family meant moving away from them was emotionally triggering for him.

At first, he had very little engagement with his new support team and housemates. Nathan hadn’t lived in a large home before, and the team understood that adapting to living with 11 housemates, and forming new relationships with support staff, might be difficult. He was also the youngest person living at Langley House, making it more challenging to find common ground.

Nathan needed a lot of additional support too, particularly at night when he could become quite anxious. To begin with, a member of his support team slept outside his room so he would feel more secure in his new surroundings. Through dedicated one to one consistent support, Nathan’s team built a trusting relationship with him that reassured him he was safe in his new home.

Nathan has now been a member of Langley House for over 18 months and has made significant progress. After gradually reducing his overnight monitoring, he now only needs occasional support if he wakes. As Langley House is staffed 24-hours a day, his team are always on hand to reassure him and manage his needs.

Starting conversations

When Nathan first joined the team at Langley House, he presented a lot of attention related needs. During one of his parents’ regular visits, Nathan noticed an item in their car that indicated they might be going to the airport. This was triggering for Nathan and his behaviour deteriorated after his parents left.

Nathan’s team encouraged him to verbally communicate his feelings with them – something they had worked closely on with him since he first joined the household. His team assessed that this approach wasn’t working though and encouraged him to use his word board instead.

Nathan used this to spell out words like ‘car’, ‘train’, and ‘plane’. His team knew Nathan could present challenging behaviour when he wasn’t receiving someone’s full attention. They identified he might have been concerned that his parents had gone on holiday without him, resulting in him feeling like he wasn’t receiving their full attention.

Nathan’s team contacted his parents and were able to arrange a Skype call on the same day. This allowed them to explain to Nathan that they had gone to the airport to pick up his sister. This reassured him they hadn’t gone away without him and helped him to feel more secure again.

Our team involve Nathan in his support and empower him to make decisions about what care he receives. Understanding his communication preferences and adopting a person-centred approach has been important to Nathan’s progress, particularly with his attention-related needs and managing challenging behaviours.

Moving forward

Since Nathan arrived at Langley House in 2021, he has received consistent support to learn a wide range of skills. When he joined the household, his communication skills were particularly undeveloped. Nathan’s team took the time to understand his body language, giving them an insight into how he preferred to communicate. They applied structure and consistent support to his learning, which has paid off as Nathan can now read and count! Nathan was also encouraged to use tools, like his word board, to communicate his thoughts and feelings, which has reduced his incidents of challenging behaviour.  Nathan can now express himself to those around him, which has made him a more active, engaged member of the household.

His team also worked hard with him to establish a daily routine and get him involved with household activities. Nathan’s now enthusiastic about doing chores! He does daily tasks, like vacuuming, with minimal support, and even gets involved in preparing his own meals and making hot drinks. Empowering him to be involved with these types of tasks gives him focus, which is important for his emotional needs.

As a younger member of the household, Nathan’s support team recognised he was very energetic and needed to expend energy during the day! Engaging him with physical activities like walking and swimming has helped manage his energy levels and allows Nathan to focus on different activities and events.

The best man for the job

Since joining Langley House, Nathan’s life has transformed. The consistent support, understanding, and commitment of his team empowered him to develop his social skills and access opportunities in the local community.

As a result, his confidence has soared – Nathan was even best man at his brother’s wedding! Through consistency and structure, Nathan’s able to manage his anxiety and could stand beside his brother on this special day!

This was something Nathan’s parents had only dreamed about before the support of Voyage Care. Nathan has always been a central part of the family and it was important to them that he was recognised as an equal member. He was the first choice for best man, and his team worked with him so he could accomplish this! 

A picture of Nathan, a person we support, with his mum and dad. Text reads, "We're better people because of Nathan. It was so important that he was part of his brother's special day, so we could celebrate as a complete family. He's definitely our best man!".

Find out more

To learn more about our specialist autism services, and how we can support you, a loved one or a client, complete our quick and easy form, and a member of our team will be in touch.

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