Chris is happy and relaxed as he enjoys a picnic in the park listening to his favourite music. He’s enjoying the day with Everyday Independence therapists Samantha and Abigail, and his support worker Yuko as he works towards being more connected with his community.
Samantha (Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner) and Abigail (Occupational Therapist) have been key members of Chris’ therapy team over the past three years. When they first met Chris, he would barely come out of his room and engage with others. Chris is extremely private about eating and would not eat outside of his room, which limited most community outings. Changes to his routine, places, or people can also be highly stressful for Chris.
Taking a person-centered approach, Samantha and Abigail have explored what’s important to Chris and his family. During therapy sessions, they’ve focussed on getting to know Chris, his strengths, routines, what he enjoys doing, and what he finds challenging.
Building trust, a strong rapport and working at a pace that suited Chris has given him the confidence to make changes to his daily routine and explore new situations as he works towards his goals.
Abigail and Samantha also worked with Chris’ mum and his support workers to build their skills to help him prepare for any changes to his daily routine and supporting him to manage the changes.
After 12 months, Chris left his house to go for a walk with Abigail where they chatted about music and his favourite artists. Chris enjoyed the walk so much that he now happily goes for a walk with his support worker on his own.
Chris has become a lot more confident spending time with others. His communication and engagement with his therapy team have significantly increased and he will now come out of his bedroom and sit with them in the dining room during sessions.
Occupational Therapist Abigail said, “It’s been the best feeling to be a part of Chris’ journey. Over the past 2 years we’ve had many ‘wow moments’ during therapy sessions where Chris has shown courage to try something new and find his way through new challenges.
When we came home from the picnic, Chris told his mum that he had eaten food and taken his earphones off. She nearly burst into tears of joy as she hasn’t eaten with him in years, nor seen him take his headphones off other than to shower.
Samantha and I look forward to seeing Chris achieve more wins in the future. We’ll continue to support Chris with patience and encouragement as he works towards his goals of being more involved in the community and sharing a meal with his mum.”