Matthew is 20 years old and has a diagnosis of autism, severe intellectual disabilities, ADHD and epilepsy. He experiences severe anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviours and is sensitive to noise and touch. Matthew joined Cambian Lufton College in 2018 to increase his independence and learn new skills.
Education & Work Experience
Matthew follows his personalised timetable and has support to engage within his education sessions, his timetable consists of outdoor vocational subjects as he likes to be kept active. He also volunteers at the local country park, and despite Matthew needing a lot of physical and verbal support when he first started volunteering, he has been able to develop his skills and can now use equipment with greater confidence, now only requiring verbal prompts.
When we first met Matthew he needed physical support with his personal care. He had difficulties in using the toilet correctly and shaving his facial hair. With encouragement and a number of creative strategies Matthew now appears to enjoy this task and looks in the mirror with pride at the result of his handy work. Matthew has continued to progress in independence with his daily living skills and works with staff to ensure he completes his personal care, keeps the home clean and is involved in preparing meals.
Matthew has received specialist input from the onsite therapy team to support him to develop his communication skills, independence and general wellbeing. He has become more vocal in expressing himself and when he feels that he cannot use his voice he will seek his communication aid and initiate it in this way. This is a great development for Matthew and is really important in helping him to manage his anxieties.
He also receives input from our Occupational Therapist who has designed a sensory programme for Matthew to follow. This plan seeks to stimulate his needs and keep him motivated and engaged. Matthew has really benefitted from this approach which has also assisted in reducing his anxiety. Because Matthew is less anxious he is now more willing to try new things and take part in activities that he hasn’t done before.
Matthew is now able to use his own coping mechanisms to help keep him calm and it is great to see him self regulate his own feelings.
Cambian Lufton College have worked closely with Matthew’s family to ensure that the skills he has learned at college can continue to be supported on home visits. His family have commented:
"There is a huge difference to his life – Thank you for your dedication, hard work and going the extra mile!"
Matthew now returns home to spend time with his family every other weekend and clearly enjoys some quality time in their company. When the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were announced Matthew was not able to see his family. However, we introduced ‘Zoom’ calls in order for him to video call them, Matthew was able to keep them entertained during this time by using this platform to show off his singing and dancing.
Matthews’ parents were so pleased to be able to see him and keep in regular contact and they sent us the following message:
"To everyone who is helping to keep Matthew safe and well. Thank you SO much for all you are doing to keep Matthew entertained and healthy. We miss him so much but it really helps being able to see him on Zoom. Thanks for supporting him with this. Stay well and again thank you."
* Name had been changed to protect identity