Matt works in residential care for autistic adults
I’ve been working at NAS Somerset Court for three years. I started as a support worker with limited experience and I’m now a deputy manager.
My interest in autism came from my mother, who has worked with the NAS for 14 years. Other than that I don’t have any personal link.
I’m not too sure why you wouldn’t want to do this job. Autism is fascinating.
The relationships you build are amazing and some of your best experiences will be with people you support."
There is no such thing as an average day. Consistency is key but each person I support has a totally different plan for each day depending on the way they want to live their lives, their goals and abilities. They may also have anxieties, sensory sensitivities and different tolerances, which have an impact.
The challenges of being a carer
The environment can be demanding and I have to deal with challenging situations frequently. Some staff can find this difficult at times, but that's not what I find hardest.
I think the most challenging part of my job is continuously working within 'red tape', cuts to funding, and under low wages."
Government policy has always affected the way in which we work. It does feel that there are more and more limitations and restrictions to what we do. At times I am ticking boxes rather than getting stuck into the work I really want to be doing.
And the rewards...
Reviewing the progress someone has made with your support is the best part of the job. Sometimes you don’t realise the difference you have made until you look back. You become a massive part of people’s lives, as they become a massive part of yours.
I can proudly say I have made some lifelong friendships. There’s one individual I have built a great relationship with – our personalities seem to just click. I do still get things wrong and have a lot to learn, but we have both helped each other progress. I would say I have learnt more from him than he has from me.
I work with amazing people, have a great staff team and only ever look forward to going to work no matter how difficult the day may be. In due course I’d like to specialise in behaviour support and sensory integration, helping individuals who are going through crisis.
Matt's story was also featured in our members' publication, Your Autism Magazine.