Danny, a resident at Barnes Lane, is making exceptional progress thanks to the collaboration and dedication of staff teams.
Diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, Danny has been supported by the charity for over 30 years. He started as a pupil at Portfield School at 7 years old and has lived at Barnes Lane in Beaminster for the past 9 years.
Until around 3 years ago, Danny regularly enjoyed activities such as horse riding and ten pin bowling in the local community, getting around using his mobility car. However one day, and without warning, Danny refused to get into his car. This meant that he could no longer get to any of the activities he enjoyed. Local activities were arranged but Danny started to become very anxious when he was out walking and would to run off.
Working through how best to support Danny, Registered Manager Mandy Gibson and the team at Barnes Lane joined forces with the Practice & Clinical Support team. Together, they agreed a plan.
Additional funding was sought from the Local Authority for extra support. With the funding successfully secured, in June of this year the team began to try and take Danny out on foot; one staff member linking arms with him and the other walking ahead to look out for dogs and cats, which he is afraid of.
Danny became more and more comfortable with this and was soon able to access local services like shops, cafes and the hairdressers. With each trip out, his anxiety levels reduced.
The next step was to try to de-sensitise Danny around the car. This was a gradual process. To start with he cleaned the outside of the car and after a few weeks, he was comfortable cleaning the inside. Staff were then able to close the door and start the engine. After several attempts, Danny was happy to sit in the car with the door closed whilst it was moved forwards and backwards.
This is a fantastic achievement for Danny and for our staff! The team will continue to work closely with him and hope to be able to drive to the activities that he enjoys, like horse riding and ten pin bowling, once again soon.
Danny’s Mum, Jane, said; “We are so pleased with what Danny has achieved in the past few months and are extremely grateful for the hard work of the team at Autism Wessex”.
Well done to Danny and to our hard working staff at Barnes Lane and in our PCST team.