A powerful story about one man’s journey from a secure hospital ward to happily living in his own home, using his one-page profile to direct his support and communicate the things that are most important to him.
Written by Tracie Gudgeon of Care UK
When we met Michael he was living on a secure ward with two people supporting him at all times. The people supporting him wore personal attack alarms and were charged with 15 minute observations. This is worlds apart from where he is now. Twenty-nine year old Michael now lives in his own home which he loves people to visit. Not only will he greet visitors with warmth and affection but he will remember how they take their tea and coffee and any other small detail from the last time they were there.
Back when Michael was living on the secure ward a person-centred transitional plan was arranged to see how life could be better for Michael. It was vital that the people supporting him understood what Michael’s autism looked like for Michael and that they really understood who he was.
We started spending time with Michael in his hospital and worked with him to develop his Circle of Support. A Circle of support is a group of people that come together with the common purpose of helping the person at the centre of the Circle to achieve their goals. We looked into who the important people in Michael’s life were and this in turn led us to learn more about what matters to him.
We started to work alongside his existing support team to help us get to know Michael and would spend time just sitting with him or joining him on his daily routines to understand his world better. Michael started to express himself more during this process and would share with us his aspirations and dreams. We leant that he would like to learn to swim and ride a bike and he shared this with us through pictures.
Michael’s one-page profile captures the confident, fun and outgoing man that he is. With the right support and vision Michael now has his own space and directs his own support. His one-page profile clearly communicates what is important to him and how best to support him so that those people involved in Michael’s life know just how to support him in a way that makes sense.
Michael will think nothing of walking into a room of strangers and socializing with them now and attends a local club night with his friends every Friday – at long last he feels like one of the lads. Only just recently we saw Michael confidently presenting his thoughts and views to an audience at a regional working together for change event. The transformation is inspirational.
Michael has now learnt to ride his bike and has twice weekly swimming lessons which are recorded in his one-page profile. He has a busy social calendar, and is an active advocate at our Care UK Listen to me Group. Michael’s support is directed by his one-page profile and his story is evidence that with great support you can achieve great things.