headshot of a young autistic man smiling alongside a purple quote with text, on a green background

John first joined one of our residential services in 2007, having previously lived with a Link family.

Initially, he lived in a residential home with several other adults. He then moved into one of our smaller supported living homes and then into bespoke individual flats, which we developed with the help of local housing providers. This was an achievement for John, who had been wanting to live in his own flat for a while.

John is autistic and struggles with traditional communication. He cannot read or write but uses pictures as a way of understanding day to day situations. He also needs to be around noise and enjoys having music and TV in his own flat. Structure is very important to John as it helps reduce his anxiety. Our staff understand John's requirements and provide him with strategies that enable him to take control of his daily life.

At first John was reluctant to take part in community activities, due to his anxiety around people, and would only go out for the occasional cup of coffee. Since then, he has started going out on his own, and likes going to the pub for a drink. John also volunteers at Cafe Autisan, a National Autistic Society enterprise, where he works in the kitchen preparing salads, baking, and sometimes serving customers.

To help increase his independence, John is learning budgeting skills. He uses a pictorial menu of food staples and meals which enable him to plan his week's meals and shop for them on his own.

A particular interest of John's is health and safety, which he has become something of an expert in! He has taken control of fire alarm testing in the flats and likes to ensure everything is clean and tidy. He also recently tried out horse riding, which he really enjoyed, and is now interested in working/volunteering with animals.

John said:

I love supported living because it is helping me to become more independent and I am now living in my own flat.

Since living in his own flat, our staff have seen a notable improvement in John's overall confidence and behavioural skills. He has recently mentioned that he would like to have a girlfriend and has attended two training sessions on relationships with our support. Specifically, he has been asking for help around touching appropriately, as he is a tactile person and is sensitive to other people's body language and facial expressions.

With the right support, we are confident that John can continue to take control over his life, his flat and his future.

For more information on supported living services and current availability, visit our Placements page.

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