Simon's Story

“Simon is a different person now. Every morning he seems excited about the day ahead.”

Simon has profound learning disabilities and complex needs relating to his physical disabilities. Before coming to Avenues, Simon had spent most of his life in an institutional setting. His support workers noticed early on that during the day Simon rarely engaged in any activities. At night, he slept very badly, often waking up screaming and crying. The support team were concerned that Simon was unhappy and knew that something needed to change.

The team decided to support Simon using active support. They started with daily tasks, such as doing the laundry, encouraging Simon to pull the washing off the line and put the clothes in the basket. One member of the support team noticed that Simon enjoyed feeling the different kinds of material. The team then decided to support Simon to do other types of sensory activities, and as time went on, Simon became more and more engaged with his surroundings.

As a next step, the support team held opportunity sessions with Simon to discover new activities he might be interested in trying. Opportunity sessions are a way of finding out someone’s interests by presenting different activities to them, either through images or through doing an activity for the first time, to see how they respond.

Over time, Simon has picked up many new interests, and he now enjoys gardening, watching football, sensory sessions, hydrotherapy, candle making and participating in local community events.

Simon now sleeps very well and rarely needs assistance during the night. His quality of life has improved and his support workers are pleased with his progress.