As time went on, other people moved in to the home, and the support team grew. Oliver became increasingly more sociable, and enjoyed spending time in the communal areas. Team members helped Oliver to gain confidence socially, through gentle interaction when he did venture downstairs, and assisted him into getting into a new routine. They also involved Oliver in interactive play and games, and supported him to go out in the local community to familiarise himself with his new environment.
Now, when Oliver spends time in communal areas, he enjoys dancing to music, sitting with other individuals, and joining in with puzzles, ball games and parties. Oliver can verbalise if he really wants to do something, but mostly choses to use facial expressions and some Makaton signs.
Over the past year, thanks to the reassurance from team members, who have created a positive environment for him – Oliver has significantly gained in confidence. He even accepts visitors now, which he did not do previously due to shyness. He enjoys participating more in group activities such as bowling, meals out, going to the circus or zoo, and has supported access the community on a 1:1 basis.
Oliver’s love for animals means that he goes on weekly visits to different locations where he can see them, including Hounslow Urban Farm, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, bird sanctuaries and Chessington zoo. His mother has commented on how willing Oliver is to come home back to the home, after staying with her for a weekend!
Louisa, Home Manager, said: “In less than a year of living with us, I’m so proud of observing Oliver’s increasing development in his interaction with others, and group participation. Oliver has been observing us too, and has started doing little tasks around the house, including bringing his laundry basket downstairs and sweeping the floor after meal times. Oliver will also now help clear the table!”