Impact story: Richard*

13 June 2018

By Sue Maidens - Programme Coordinator (Me2 Programme for MY Trust)

Richard is a 15 year old boy who was socially isolated spending all his spare time in his room at home on his X-Box. Although Richard was in mainstream school in SEN classes with support, he was making very limited progress.  Richard has autistic spectrum disorder. At the time of referral to the Me2 Programme,  Richard was socially anxious, had very low self-esteem, very low motivation, no confidence and did not like change.  Richard would not engage in conversation with anyone and did not make eye contact.  Richard’s initial self-assessment scores were very low with self-esteem and confidence scored as a 1.

Despite Richard’s initial reluctance to engage with the programme, I spent a long time talking to him about his interests. During our conversations it became clear that Richard had a keen interest in music, particularly playing the drums.  A suitable club was found in his local area which he attended weekly supported by his mentor.  The first night was a challenge for Richard’s mum as she was very anxious and reluctant to leave and waited outside in the car park for the whole session.  Richard and his mentor formed a close friendship. As the weeks progressed there was a noticeable difference in Richard, particularly in his confidence.

At the exit route meeting in early 2018, there had been a remarkable change. Richard’s project support officer commented about Richard:

What a difference. Richard was relaxed, chatty and keen to tell me how he was progressing. Richard had made some new friends and he was joining in different activities. Richard had even had the courage to tell a girl that he liked her”

Richard confirmed that he would continue attending the youth club without his mentor’s support.  Richards mum commented (quite emotionally):
‘I cannot believe how much my son has progressed and gained in confidence. He is more attentive and caring towards me, his communication has improved, and although he is still socially anxious he has acknowledged that by taking small steps he will gain more confidence’. 
Richard himself said:
I am really happy now….this is such a difference compared to my first night when I didn’t even want to get out of the car’.

SELF ASSESSMENT SCORES              

Category

Start

Finish

Independence

3

9

Confidence

1

8

Self-Esteem

2

6

Managing Feelings

1

8

Communication

4

9

Building Positive Relationships

4

10

Team Work

2

7

Taking Care of Yourself and Others

5

9

Scale: 1 = Unhappy

          2 = Unsure

          3 = Happy

*Different name used for data protection purposes

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