Sean’s new home is off a quiet road on the edge of Hull. Sean is now 34, and has been living in his own home for just two months.
Sean has autism and echolalia, a condition that causes him to repeat words and phrases. His support team needs to understand what this communication means to him, in order to provide the best support.
Until recently, Sean had spent his adult life in residential care settings. But he wasn’t getting the regular stimulation he needed.
Now Sean has moved into his own home, shared with Leah, a woman of a similar age, who is also supported by Affinity Trust.
Sharing a house like this is a new experience for both of them. Emma, their Support Manager, says: “We thought this could be a difficult transition. However, after the first evening, we could see Sean and Leah would be very happy in their new home.
“Mum has even commented that he enjoys returning home now and goes straight in from the car. Sean is always smiling and so happy to see his support staff by hugging them and saying ‘I missed you’.”
Staff are supporting Sean to learn new skills – which often means thinking creatively. To encourage Sean to put away tea towels, for instance, they play kitchen basketball with him, having fun while supporting him to become more independent.
Other activities designed to meet Sean’s needs for regular stimulation include Friday night discos, held in the living room at the moment.
Staff also support Sean to do his own shopping. He makes his own shopping list using picture cards Then, in his local Aldi or Morrison’s, he uses a trolley adapted for wheelchair users, and takes food off the shelves himself.
Sean loves going for a drive in his Motability car – something he does nearly every day. Emma says: “Sean gets a real sensory input out of being in the car, which makes him happy. He used to refuse to get out of the car to go into his old home, but is currently happy to return to his new home.”
Sean’s favourite destinations include the market town of Beverley and The Deep in Hull, one of the country’s largest aquariums.
Sean also goes out with his mum every Tuesday. Emma says: “It’s important they continue that family relationship. Sean’s family have been very supportive through this transition.”
Looking back on the first two months, Emma adds: “The team have done really well, considering Sean transitioned in a pandemic with limited time to get to know him before he moved, the team have worked really hard to make this a positive experience for Sean and Leah. I’m really proud of them.”