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Robert - Living with Autism and Moderate Learning Disability

“Busy places make me scared because of all the people and noise”
Robert is 27 and lives with Autism and moderate learning disability.  (* Names and imags have been changed). 
He joined Brookdale Care in March 2014, and was initially admitted to Milton Park Therapeutic Campus following increasing challenging behaviour and destruction of property at his previous placement.
Before joining Brookdale Robert had:
• High levels of anxiety – especially in new situations
• Poor understanding of his Autism
• Couldn’t join in groups or be in busy situations
• No concept of personal space or boundaries
• Inappropriate touching
• Poor self-care skills
• Poor independent living skills
• Poor communication and conversation skills
• Would lash out at staff and property when anxious.
Since joining Milton Park Therapeutic Campus, Robert has been supported by the Therapeutic team and staff within the units and Star Centre to help him:
• Understand his Autism so he has a better understanding of himself.
• Develop coping strategies and de-escalation techniques to reduce anxiety levels and create positive outlets for negative feelings.
• Reduced anxiety enabled Robert to engage with group and community based activities
• Attend therapy groups on:
o Communication Skills
o Anger management
o Men’s group – on relationships, health, sex
o Independent living skills training – cooking, budgeting, laundry, cleaning etc.
By December 2014, Robert felt that he was ready to progress onto residential care. A transition plan was created with Robert, the therapeutic team and the staff team from Milton Park and Eynesbury House. The transition plan involved – trips to Eynesbury House, meeting staff and keyworker, choosing bedroom, doing activities with existing residents – progressing to overnight stays.
In January 2014 Robert transitioned into Eynesbury House. Unfortunately, Robert became very anxious in the new environment and with the new staff and residents. He would continually ask staff when he could return to Milton Park, his abilities regressed and incidents of challenging behaviour increased.
“I found the change really hard to manage as there were new staff and fewer rules at Eynesbury House”
After 1 month Robert and the MDT decided that he would return to Milton Park for a short period until he felt ready to move back to Eynesbury. 4 weeks later Robert successfully transitioned to Eynesbury House.

Since being at Eynesbury House Robert has continued his progress towards independent living. Everyday Robert is improving his independent living and social awareness skills and is gaining confidence and feelings of self-worth.
Robert now has the confidence to try new skills like learning to cook simple meals and going to the shops with support. His communication skills are greatly improved and he can now hold conversations and meet new people.
Robert is now working towards managing his money and has started volunteering at a local charity shop.
“I am proud of the progress I have made, and it makes my mum happy.”

January 2014 – March 2015

Brookdale Care has developed the Spectrum Star, an Outcome Measurement Tool specifically designed for people living with Autistic Spectrum Conditions. The star has 9 points that have been identified as key areas of difficulty for people living with Autism.
The tool is used with the resident and keyworker, they discus where they feel the individual is on each point of the star. A support plan is then written based on areas of identified need. The Star also provides a visual tool for the resident to see how they are progressing and have successfully been used in CPAs with care professionals and families. 

 If you would like to speak to someone about this case study or Brookdale's support services than please call 01707 646 646 or email