Steven* was diagnosed with autism and learning difficulties at six years old and struggled to communicate his feelings verbally. This caused him a lot of stress in his younger years, leading him to become agitated and often displayed behaviours based on his anxieties.
At the age of 11, Steven joined Priory Education and Children’s Services Rugeley School, which provided education and care for young people with autism and moderate to severe learning difficulties. Priory Education and Children’s Services is also part of Priory Group.
Taking the next steps into adulthood
Following five successful years at Rugeley School, it was time for Steven to take the next steps into adulthood and move into an adult care setting. After looking at the different options available, Steven, his parents, staff at Rugeley School and the local authority agreed on Priory Adult Care’s Autumn Leaf House. This specialist residential service provides 24/7 support for adults with a range of needs, including autism and behaviours that may challenge.
Steven’s mother specifically chose Autumn Leaf House due to it being nearer to home, with lots of planned high-adrenaline activities nearby in the town centre for her son to enjoy. Steven’s mother also liked that the site was a residential care home with a supported living model, which allowed Steven more personal space and control of his living environment. This was ideal for someone with Steven’s diagnosis, where he could also have space to cook, clean and maintain an independent lifestyle, with staff support.
With Priory Adult Care also being a division of Priory Group, this helped with the transition from an education setting. A consistent approach and open communication between the two services helped Autumn Leaf House when setting future goals and outcomes for Steven, by gathering insight into his skill set, preferences, as well as Steven’s current and previous behaviour.
Before Steven arrived at Autumn Leaf House, four members of staff, including their Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Practitioner, visited Steven over a two week period, where they stayed overnight and observed all parts of his routine, slowly handing over so that Autumn Leaf House staff were leading on aspects of care. The PBS Practitioner also spent time analysing Steven’s behaviours and asking his previous key workers questions. This enabled Autumn Leaf House to alter their environment to avoid an increase in anxiety when Steven actually moved into the service.
How has Autumn Leaf House helped Steven?
After the two week’s observation, the PBS Practitioner trained staff so that they had all of the required knowledge of Steven before he moved into Autumn Leaf House. When Steven arrived at the service, the previous staff also helped him to unpack so that it mirrored his previous site.
With all of processes and procedures put in the place, Steven was in good spirits and transitioned well into the service. The staff team also planned the same activity Steven participated in during his first visit to Autumn Leaf House and attended this activity straight away when he arrived for familiarity.
Steven is currently receiving 1:1 support, 14 hours a day, with shared night support. Since being at Autumn Leaf House, Steven’s communication skills have improved, with him being able to express exactly what he would like support with, which wouldn’t have previously been possible. Steven is now also able to refuse activities, whereas previously there were incidents based on the need to escape. Steven has become much more independent and has built really positive relationships with staff at Autumn Leaf House, has become more engaged, affectionate and playful towards them.
At both Priory Adult Care and Priory Education and Children’s Services, we are delighted with the progress Steven has made through our services and the positive outcomes he is achieving.
Contact Priory Adult Care today
If you would like more information on how Priory Adult Care can support a young person approaching school or college leaving age, please click here to visit our website. Alternatively, call a member of our helpful enquiries team today on 0808 291 3245 or click here to complete a short enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.