We had our hands full - When Mr Y first arrived at Skills Tank, he presented highly challenging behaviour that displayed as frequent anger outbursts, spitting and swearing. He had low self-esteem and was very apprehensive to be around people. He was often agitated, refusing to do any activities or work in a group. Mr Y would spit around females, or when people were standing too close to him and when he encountered unexpected situations or sudden change.
During group activities, at times, he would become aggressive and his behaviour would escalate to hitting out and kicking furniture. Mr Y would become agitated when being outdoors especially in crowded places.
From keen observations - The staff noticed that Mr Y’s behaviour was heavily influenced by his mood and the level of his anxiety. Mr Y reacted in an unpredictable way every time he didn’t expect something to happen or if he was asked to do something new. In order to help him to manage his behaviour an appropriate learning plan was established. It involved practicing simple clear rules when inside Skills Tank or out in the community as well as getting used to working with other people.
The staff at Skills Tank began to diffuse Mr Y’s behaviour by re-directing him into making positive conversations and working on reinforcing behavioural boundaries when he was agitated; and praising him for every bit of good work he did. He responded well to this change and became more confident and cheerful.
Slowly but surely - Mr Y’s behaviour started to improve and he began to work with other students. He started to eat his lunches with fellow students and began to initiate conversations with staff. Mr Y’s biggest improvement was his willingness to learn how to participate with other students, as previously he would only work independently.
As the staff became happier with his positive attitude towards other students
Mr Y was offered the opportunity to join them in group activities such as: car washing, litter picking, sports, gardening, in-door games, art and cooking sessions, shopping and relaxing walks to the park. He participated in all these activities with great success improving his concentration and self-esteem.
Mr Y is now participating is social behaviour classes. He learns best through engagement in interactive group games which include quizzes, questionnaires, group discussions, role plays with the use of picture cards and Makaton sign language. He began to use his interests to help writing articles about football in Skills Tank weekly newspaper. Mr Y also takes part in meditations where he learns relaxation techniques. He also participates in housekeeping and personal care sessions where he learns independence and daily living skills.
As Mr Y’s confidence grew - he would often come up with valuable suggestions and ideas, especially during behaviour and personal care sessions. On many occasions he fully completes his work and patiently waits for other students to finish. Mr Y’s biggest achievement is his ability to manage his behaviour on trips to a busy coffee shop where students go to practice social skills. Mr Y managed to have tea and biscuits without displaying any inappropriate behaviour.
He now feels more confident to go out and be around people he doesn’t know. Mr Y is practicing road safety techniques and participates in travel training sessions which take place out in the local community. He feels more relaxed and reacts better when encountering unexpected situations.
Over the space of three years Mr Y has achieved a lot. Predominately, he was able to make contact with new people and participate in a group. Mr Y also allowed others to come closer to his personal space and learned to be more patient and concentrate on activities for longer periods of time. Activities that have positively impacted on his confidence and self-esteem are group activities especially were Mr Y had to find solutions to different situations himself.
Mr Y now takes part in group discussions and plays an active part in conversations which previously he was not able to do. His self-esteem has improved and his anxiety decreased. Mr Y is more aware of his abilities and strengths, and learned to use them in his daily routine. He can voice his concerns better and is able to remove himself from overwhelming situations.
Rising to the challenge has helped Mr Y on his journey to self-improve; we’ve supported him and watched him go through a very big positive change. His parents and Care First Limited are very proud of Mr Y’s achievement. He is one of the students who has gone through tremendous transformation and proved that nothing is impossible. Mr Y continues attending Skills Tank five day a week and is happy to be a part of this ever growing community.
There has been a significant positive feedback received from Mr and Mrs Y, relating to the positive developments Mr Y has gained since he started to attend the Skills Tank without Carers. “We’ve seen a significant reduction on the Financial Expenses in paying outside carers, he’s happy in himself and also happy to mix with other people. We no longer need outside carers to look after Mr Y during most family occasions and Mr Y behaves well in the public once the right instruction is given to him.”
Please note: we change all names to protect the individual’s privacy.