View Louis’ Story here
*name changed to protect identity.
Although everyone we support is different, they all have one thing in common, potential. The potential to achieve and have a fulfilling life. The below case study is an example of a gentleman that Bright Futures have supported since 2016.
James has a diagnosis of Autism and severe learning disabilities. Prior to moving to Bright Futures, James attended an SEN school and was cared for by his parents in the family home.
James presented with high levels of need and daily behaviours of concern. Although in a specialist school, they were unable to continue James education and family were finding it increasingly difficult to manage. James was educated away from his peers, in a small classroom of his own. He had no social interaction during his school day and would spend his playtime in the playground with staff. He presented with multiple unmet and un-assessed sensory needs and would spend his whole school day in his underwear. James had no verbal communication and would use negative behaviours as a successful form of communication to have his needs met.
James came to live at Bright Futures in one of our Children’s homes, a short walk to his new school. Although the initial transition period was slow, he began with daily short visits to school which steadily grew in duration and he began integrating into the school with his peer group. Within the first year, James made significant achievements and we saw a reduction in physical aggression and self-injurious behaviours. James diet had increased and was more varied than before. With the support of Shine Therapy, a personalised sensory diet continues to be incorporated into James day and he demonstrates a better understanding of self-regulation and presents with significantly reduced anxiety levels.
In June 2019, James transitioned to his new home in our adult services. He has made significant academic progress in the last 12 months and teacher assessment has placed him four sub-levels higher than the previous year (two sub-levels are deemed to be an outstanding achievement). He has completed two ‘Equals’ qualifications, which are externally moderated and the functional skills he has learnt in the classroom have been transferred into community living. James continues to live with a familiar peer group from his college and is developing his independence skills into adulthood. Although the transition to Bright Futures was difficult for James family initially, their family time is now of much more quality and he thoroughly enjoys staying over with his Mum and Dad.
Finn moved to Bright Futures in August 2020 after a 14-month hospitalisation at a local mental health hospital. Finn was sectioned under the Mental Health Act for the purpose of assessment and treatment and received a working diagnosis of Autistic Catatonia. Finn’s mental health had significantly deteriorated and displayed concerning behaviour that placed himself and others at risk. Finn had very low self-esteem and very little confidence, he was unable to make choices and needed lots of support to achieve the activities of daily living. Although the clinical environment was able to keep him safe during periods of challenge, it was evident that a residential provision would better meet his spectrum of needs and Bright Futures was identified to provide the much needed therapeutic and nurturing environment.
During a two-week transition period, Bright Futures staff worked alongside Finn’s clinical team and began to build positive and familiar relationships prior to his move. This was an ideal time for information sharing and the MDT team worked well together to ensure a smooth transition.
During Finn’s time at Bright Futures, a comprehensive MDT have worked together to support the improvement of his mental health, overall wellbeing and his learning and development. Previously, Finn did not attend or engage with any education for over 18 months, and anxieties were evident when school was discussed. This transition back into education has been a big focus, not only for the team around him, but also for Finn. He now enjoys the structure and predictability of the education day and with reduced anxieties he can learn more and thrives in the sociable environment.
Finn has a well-trained team around him that not only have the right training and the right core skills but just as importantly, the right personalities and person-centred approaches. This approach ensures he is comfortable and familiar with his staff and can trust them to support him in the way he needs them to so can achieve and succeed.
Finn has also been supported to ensure his living environment is homely, welcoming, and matches his choices and preferences. Bright Futures staff worked with Finn to design his bedroom during visits at his previous setting. Finn stated he was interested in space and planets, so a space theme was created in his bedroom which Finn continues to add to. During transition visits, Finn was encouraged to choose posters for his new room, designed the layout and helped decorate with familiar and favoured items. Sensory items were bought specifically to meet Finns needs such as large bean bags, comfortable fleecy blankets, and a vast range of sensory fidget toys.
With continued support from Bright Futures’ Specialist Support Team, he is more confident to communicate and working with Speech and Language Therapy he and his team have a greater understanding of his cognitive abilities and functional communication. Working closely with our PBS Lead, we have seen a significant reduction in concerning behaviours. Finn responds well to de-escalation strategies and through the consistent approach from his familiar care and education team, he demonstrates a better ability to self-regulate. Finn’s mental health has improved dramatically, and the requirement for external CAMHS input has decreased.
Finn is a very intelligent young man who now has aspirations and goals for his future. Finn’s physical posture has improved as he stands confidently tall and loves to engage people with a high five or handshake. Finn is flourishing as he is encouraged to make choices and thrives in a less restrictive and more empowering environment.
Finns’ world has been made bigger and he most certainly has a very bright future.
*name changed to protect identity.
Prior to Bright Futures, Timothy was observed to have erratic sleep patterns, with significant and constant involuntary body movements, and required the regular use of a wheelchair to support his overall mobility, he also suffered with significant weight loss weighting only 46.2kg upon admission. Timothy had been out of formal education for two years requiring high levels of support from agency nursing / caring staff on a 4:1 staffing ratio, Timothy also required 2 hourly medication, which was administered between 6am and 11pm 7 days a week. Understandably, Timothy demonstrated high levels of frustration and spontaneous & indiscriminate aggressive behaviours towards others including peers, self and members of the public, with high levels of indiscriminate damage towards his environments. Timothy was socially isolated compounded by significant communication difficulties and also struggled to use cutlery due to his presenting motor disorder.
Timothy now has much improved sleep patterns and does not require the support of a wheelchair, due to his much improved mobility. We have observed a significant weight gain with Timothy
Timothy, now weighing 64kg. Timothy has successfully returned to full time education and maintains the support of a consistent core staff team on a reduced 2:1 staffing ratio. His medication regime is now much less restrictive, which has provided much improved social opportunities whilst supporting better sleep patterns. We now observe significantly lower levels of indiscriminate aggressive and destructive behaviours towards others and his environments. Timothy is now fully active within his community, with improved communication, he is now able to use a knife and fork and also brush his teeth semi-independently with supportive prompts from his carers. Timothy even met his TV hero, ‘Mr Tumble’ during a social event in Warrington.
Timothy really does now, have a much brighter future!