Luke was diagnosed with autism when he was 15. Luke’s symptoms increased when he was in year 9 and he required one step prompting for many activities of daily living. His attendance at school was affected, this escalated to the point when he stopped going to school entirely. Luke became very withdrawn and did not leave his room for 6 weeks. Luke was reported by his mother to be in crises. The head of year flagged up that Luke could have sensory issues that were having an effect on his ability to attend full-time education. An assessment was carried out at Future Steps. His mother reported that the work completed at Future Steps had a significant impact of Luke’s ability to begin attending education again. He is now achieving well within this educational setting and has a very bright future with prospects of attending law or computer science at university.
Feedback from Sarah Wood, parent of Luke Wood
“The staff working with my 15-year-old son have all been fantastic…. my son has quite complex needs with, in my opinion, sensory processing disorder being the one that causes him the greatest problems in his day to day life. From staff on reception who has always gone above and beyond to accommodate our family’s needs being flexible with appointments, nothing has ever been too much. The depth of knowledge the occupational therapists and therapy assistants have astounds me and they have worked in conjunction with Luke to develop strategies and coping mechanisms, teaching him to help himself and recognise when he may start to struggle thus enabling him to proactively and effectively regulate himself again. Special thanks to James (who has now left; however, he was the reason Luke attended initially – James was professional and built up an immediate rapport with Luke gaining his trust which in turn engaged Luke fully with the service). Also, Emma whose ongoing support and advice whilst giving therapy to Luke has been invaluable, she has truly gone above and beyond her professional role to help Luke. Julie who is the Managing Director is a fountain of knowledge, an example being sleep and advising what step is next and then loaning a listening system for Luke to try at home before we purchase one.
In summary, I was a bit dubious as to the extent they could help my very rigid (ASD) 15-year-old who was very much in a pickle and no longer attending school…. I have been proven completely wrong and for any children or young person struggling with sensory difficulties and/or motor problems (delayed co-ordination disorder) the service Future Steps provide under the leadership of Julie is absolutely essential. Luke has gone from self-isolation in his bedroom to now attending sixth form college a year early and actively participating in life again!
Forever grateful…… Sarah, Luke and Indie