John is a young man in his late teens who has complex autism. He attends further education and lives with his parents. Due to his autism he has sensory processing difficulties which make it very hard for him to cope with the world around him. He does not understand social situations and he is unable to communicate verbally. It is difficult for him to express himself and he needs support in all areas of his life as he is not able to carry out many tasks by himself.
This is very frustrating for him and he will often scream, shout and hit out at the people who are supporting him. His parents have cared for, supported and spoken up for him all his life to ensure that he has been able to get what he needs to help him get the most out of his life, in particular in regards to education, health and general well-being.
As he reached his 18th birthday, his parents found it an increasing struggle to deal with his challenging behaviour and his need for support 24/7, but they want him to live at home with them rather than go into residential care or supported living. John had communicated that he wanted to live at home as well. John’s parents contacted SoLO to ask for respite care for John at weekends. Due to his complex needs, funding was secured for two staff to support John.
SoLO have worked closely with John and his parents, employing a team of Personal Assistants with experience of supporting people with autism and challenging behaviour. They have supported John, including taking him out on his preferred leisure activities during the week and every weekend. This gives his parents valuable time to themselves (something they had had little of, for over 18 years). The established team have developed a good relationship with John and his parents can enjoy the respite knowing that John is happy and having fun with safe support.
John’s PAs know that he is able to access the SoLO evening and weekend social drop-in projects without the need for an annual subscription, therefore whenever he is not feeling up to it, it is not a problem. John very much enjoys and looks forward to meeting his friends at the SoLO clubs. He loves the themed activities and goes home happy and content. Mum and Dad don’t have to worry and can enjoy their own free time in the same way as John – happy and content!
The only alternative provision that could be considered was full time residential support in a complex care home which would have been out of borough. This service is significantly less costly and more appropriate for the family.